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Dayot Upamecano is wanted by Arsenal and Bundesliga goal scorer Timo Werner says £55m transfer target could be as good as Jerome Boateng

Given world class centre-backs are hard to come by, it’s easy to see why Dayot Upamecano is a man in demand.

The RB Leipzig defender may not be at that level yet but he has certainly shown glimpses of scaling those heights.

Dayot Upamecano is wanted by Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona
Getty Images – Getty

At just 21 he represents a strong long-term investment many clubs in Europe seem to be willing to take a chance on.

Arsenal fans will see him again when the Bundesliga returns – live on talkSPORT – and Leipzig may face a battle to keep hold of Upamecano in the summer.

Here, has everything you need to know about him.

What’s the gossip?

In the summer, the defender will have just a year left on his contract, so this has fuelled rumours of an exit as RB Leipzig may be forced to cash in now.

Arsenal have long been admirers of the centre-back and are most definitely in the market for defensive reinforcements. He certainly would be an upgrade on their current options.

They are likely to face competition for his signature as both Real Madrid and Barcelona have expressed an interest.

If he wants to stay in the Bundesliga, then Bayern Munich could be an option and Upamecano could be a long term replacement for Jerome Boateng.

Career so far?

Upamecano is a product of the Valenciennes youth team in France and attracted a lot of interest before joining Red Bull Salzburg in July 2015 for around £2m.

He joined their feeder team, Liefering, for the 2015/16 season where he made 16 appearance in the Austrian First Division.

In 2015, he was also part of France’s Under-17 European Championship winning squad and made it into the team of the tournament.

His style of play has been likened to former France, Milan and Chelsea centre-back Marcel Desailly.

Marcel Desailly helped France win the 1998 World Cup
AFP – Getty

The defender then quickly broke into the Salzburg first team during the 2016/17 campaign and was quickly snapped up by RB Leipzig for around £8.8m in January 2017.

The 21-year-old has gone on to make 104 appearances for the club and become a key member of their defence.

How much is he likely to cost?

Arsenal were reportedly interested in him last summer but were put off by the £72m release clause.

Reports suggest that this release clause goes down by £17m each season and he could be available for £55m during the transfer window.

This price could be driven down even further if Upamecano hands in a transfer request and tries to force a move.

Dayot Upamecano has starred for Bundesliga club RB Leipzig
AFP or licensors

What is being said about him?

When he joined Leipzig in 2017, then Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick said: “Dayot Upamecano has developed fantastically in the last year and a half at Salzburg.

“He’s called attention to himself with excellent performances domestically and continentally, and he’s a player who, with his potential and his style of play, fits perfectly into our style.”

Teammate Timo Werner said: “I’ve not seen a faster centre-back, and Dayot has an unbelievable physique. He can become as good as Jerome Boating if he can keep improving.”

Leipzig forward Yussuf Poulsen added: “He is now the best centre-back. He is a top player, fast, clever, good in a challenge; it’s just very hard to get past him.”

How will he fit in if he leaves RB Leipzig?


Upamecano would go straight into the Arsenal first team and would be an immediate improvement on the current first choice of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi.

The Gunners also have William Saliba out on loan at Saint Etienne and the pair could form a strong partnership that has the potential to dominate for years to come.

How Arsenal could line-up with Dayot Upamecano

Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos is 34 and Madrid will be looking for a long term replacement.

They did sign Eder Militao last summer and already have Raphael Varane, who is still just 26.

A player like Upamecano may have to wait for his chance initially but the trio would make for strong defensive options for Zinedine Zidane.

How Real Madrid could line-up with Dayot Upamecano


Like Madrid, Barca have an ageing centre-back in Gerard Pique that will eventually need replacing.

Once he does retire, their current options are Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti so they will want a third option to provide genuine competition.

Again, he may have to wait for his chance but there is potential to become their future star.

How Barcelona could line-up with Dayot Upamecano

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