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Arsenal dealt big Dayot Upamecano boost - report

Dayot Upamecano

Mikel Arteta has earmarked Arsenal's defence as the first thing he needs to address in the transfer window, and highly-rated Dayot Upamecano could be the man to plug the gap.

Arsenal have long been linked with the RB Leipzig defender, and reports from Le Parisien suggest that he will be allowed to move to the Emirates once they sign 17-year-old French defender Tanguy Kouassi to a professional contract.

Kouassi, who is also wanted by Paris Saint-Germain, is thought to be the long-term succesor to Upamecano, and the speed of his development looks to be good news for Arsenal's leaky back-four. 

Arsenal reportedly refused to pay more than £55m for the French centre-half in the summer, opting to sign David Luiz in a cut-price deal instead. However, a series of high-profile errors have cost the club in the first half of the season. 

Upamecano's current contract expires at the end of next season, leading to Arsenal believing they may be able to sign him in January for somewhere in the region of £40m. 

Any move for Upamecano would have to be funded by sales, and may confirm what many Arsenal fans already suspect: that Granit Xhaka will be leaving the club in January. 

The Swiss midfielder has had a turbulent season, having fallen out with the fanbase and been stripped of the captaincy, and despite Mikel Arteta publicly supporting him, Xhaka's agent Jose Noguera has confirmed an agreement has been reached with Hertha Berlin and the player would like to return to Germany. The fee is said to be in the region of £21m. 

If Xhaka's departure allows Upamecano to arrive, then that might be the best result for all parties. It may also mean that the future of Arsenal's defence will be the future of France's defence, with William Saliba joining the club from AS Saint Etienne next season, having signed last summer and immediately been sent back on loan. 

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