Real Madrid have made RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano, who is wanted by Arsenal, their No.1 transfer target and plan to trigger his €45m release clause in 2021.
According to a report from Spanish publication AS, Real Madrid have set their sights on RB Leipzign’s French centre-back Dayot Upamecano as the long-term replacement for captain Sergio Ramos.
The 21-year-old has been with Leipzig since January 2017, having joined from sister club RB Salzburg. During his time at the club, Upamecano has established himself as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe. He has been a consistent performer for Leipzig, that has boasted one of the best defensive units in Germany in the last two seasons.
Upamecano put in one of his finest performances of the season last week in the UEFA Champions League against Atletico Madrid. This has convinced Real Madrid to snap him up from the German outfit, as per the report.
Real Madrid may have ended the season with the best defensive record in La Liga, but their problems were laid bare in their Champions League exit against Manchester City when captain Sergio Ramos was missing. Eder Militao has struggled to make much of an impact since arriving, while Nacho hardly played this past season.
With Ramos entering the final stages of his career, it becomes important for Zinedine Zidane & co. to put a succession plan in place for the Spaniard. Upamecano, to that end, would be a viable option for the Merengues to consider.
Upamecano’s future at the Bundesliga side was up in the air with his contract expiring in 2021. However, he put the speculations to rest by penning a new contract recently. The new deal is said to include a release clause worth €45 million, which can be activated next year.
It seems to work out perfectly for Real Madrid, who wouldn’t have been able to sign the defender because of a lack of transfer funds this summer owing to the pandemic. As a result, Los Blancos are now planning to trigger Upamecano’s buyout clause in 2021.
This ought to come as a blow for Arsenal, who had been heavily linked with a move for the Frenchman. The Gunners seem to have found some solidity at the back under Mikel Arteta, but are still far from the finished article.
David Luiz may have penned a new deal, but remains a liability and is not getting any younger. Sokratis has hardly been used by Arteta, and along with Shkodran Mustafi, is in the final year of his contract. William Saliba’s return from his loan spell at Saint-Etienne does provide them with added options.
But someone like Upamecano would make a huge difference to the Gunners’ defensive unit. However, with Real Madrid now making the Frenchman their primary transfer target, Arsenal might find it tough to challenge the La Liga champions for his signing.