Arsenal’s hopes of signing Dayot Upamecano have received a boost after RB Leipzig recognised they will struggle to keep hold of the centre-back.
The Frenchman is widely considered one of the most promising young defenders in European football, with the Gunners reportedly failing to land him with a £55m bid in the summer.
Unai Emery opted to acquire David Luiz from Chelsea as an alternative, but the Spaniard believes Upamecano could be the long-term solution at centre-back.
Previous reports claimed that the 20-year-old would be available for a fee of £52m next summer due to a clause in his contract which sees him minimum release clause decrease by around £17.2m per year.
However, Kicker claim that Leipzig may now accept a lower offer because they are fearful of losing one of their prized assets on a free transfer when his contract expires in 2021.
With less than two years remaining on his deal, Upamecano is in a strong position should he decide to seek pastures new.
The France Under-21 international, who is still awaiting his debut for the senior side, will not be short of suitors given his exploits in the Bundesliga since his move from Red Bull Salzburg in 2017.
However, Arsenal will hope to fight off competition from rival clubs across the continent as they seek to improve their defence at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
The Gunners have looked shaky at the back at times this term, and have conceded 11 goals in their first eight matches of the season – more than Crystal Palace, who have played a game more, and Sheffield United, who Arsenal face on Monday.
Emery’s side travel to Bramall Lane in fifth place in the Premier League table, although victory would see them climb back above Chelsea and Leicester and into third spot.
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