Claims that Arsenal have beaten Manchester United to the signature of Red Bull Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano are wide of the mark, according to Goal reporter Charles Watts via givemesport.com.
The Red Devils have been linked with the talented centre back since he was 16 years old. He twice came close to signing for United in 2015 but the move did not materialise and the youngster joined Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg instead before moving across the Red Bull empire to Leipzig in 2017.
On Saturday Tuttosport claimed that Arsenal had made a concrete deal with Red Bull Leipzig that they could sign Upamecano if he does not sign a new contract with the German side this summer. Sportbild yesterday fleshed out the details: that Upamecano has decided to switch to Arsenal and that ‘club bosses have already accepted the offer of the Londoners’.
Sportbild go on to claim that the Gunners have offered the €60 million buyout fee for the 21-year-old, beating United and AC Milan to the chase.
However, speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts claims that the reports of an agreement are wide of the mark.
‘As far as I’m aware that’s not the case.
‘Arsenal like him, who doesn’t? He’s one of the most talented young defenders in Europe. All of the big clubs like him and we know what he can do.
‘I can’t see him signing a new contract with Leipzig – he only has year left on his contract and Leipzig can’t let him go on a free so they will be looking to sell him this summer.
‘His release clause is £53 million but they aren’t going to get that. They’ll have to accept less if they’re going to sell him this summer.
‘Would Arsenal be interested in him? Yes. Have Arsenal agreed a fee for him? As far as I’m aware no, and I’d still be surprised if they signed him.
‘I just don’t see where the money is. Unless they make some significant sales and get themselves Champions League football, I just don’t see it.’
There have been varying reports about the value of the release clause, although most journalists seem to agree it will expire at the end of this month. Fichajes.com claims the value is only €45 million (around £40 million).
It seems unlikely that any club would have triggered a £53 million clause knowing that Upamecano is entering the last year of his contract, meaning that Leipzig will be desperate to sell him. A fee of £40 million, or even slightly lower in the current financial climate, seems much more realistic.
United would be wise not to let Arsenal have a free run at one of the world’s top young centre backs at this lower figure and this summer offers a wonderful opportunity for the Red Devils to finally seal the deal that they have been working on for five and a half years.
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