Arsenal are in pole position to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, whose asking fee of £52 million has been reduced to £34 million.
According to Bild, as translated by The Sun, Arsenal have received major boosts in their pursuit of Dayot Upamecano. RB Leipzig have agreed to slash the asking price for their prized defender. His release clause was initially valued at £52 million, but the Bundesliga giants will now be willing to meet offers in the region of £34 million.
Additionally, Bayern Munich have opted out from the race to sign Upamecano. They have apparently set their sights on Manchester City ace and long-term target Leroy Sane. As a result, Arsenal now appear to be the frontrunners to sign the Leipzig star this summer.
The Gunners have been desperate to sign new defenders as new manager Mikel Arteta looks to oversee a major overhaul. The existing defenders in the likes of David Luiz, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi have all failed to deliver, with all of them failing to provide any sort of leadership at the back.
Even though Mustafi’s form has significantly improved since the turn of the year, Arsenal must look for new faces in the defensive unit. It is, however, fair to consider the pending arrival of William Saliba in the summer, while the club is keen on making Pablo Mari’s loan move permanent, meaning Mikel Arteta will have more options at his disposal.
That means the Gunners must offload at least two of their existing defenders if they are to make space for Upamecano next season. Mustafi seems the likely candidate along with Sokratis, who has failed to establish himself as a pillar at the back for Arsenal.
As for Upamecano, himself, it remains to be seen whether or not the Frenchman will be able to integrate to the fast-paced nature of the Premier League. However, he does have the technical as well as the physical qualities that will add a new dimension to the Arsenal backline.
The player’s injury-prone nature could cause one major problem. But, with Saliba also emerging as an option, it should help create a fantastic balance in the backline. As for Upamecano’s credibility, the Arsenal scouts will have the opportunity to assess his qualities once again, with the Bundesliga set to return next weekend.
RB Leipzig, meanwhile, have been linked with a move for PSG’s Tanguy Kouassi. So one way or another, Upamecano’s departure is inevitable this summer.