Dayot Upamecano has signed a new three-year contract with RB Leipzig, putting an end to speculation over an immediate move to Arsenal this summer.
The French defender, 21, was linked with a move to the Emirates this summer after another season of good form in the Bundesliga with his release clause seen as a more than fair price at this moment for his ability.
With Bayern Munich deciding not to move for him this summer, Arsenal were the clear favourites and the player was reportedly open to the move too. But RB Leipzig were keen to keep hold of him after losing Timo Werner to Chelsea and have managed to convince the player to renew. The player had just one year left to run on his previous deal with a release clause of £54.1million.
The new contract will be seen as a huge blow to Arsenal, who are keen to bolster their defensive line further this summer to go along with the return of William Saliba from his loan at St-Etienne.
With other big clubs circling for the player’s signature, this would have been the best time for Arsenal to swoop with much less competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upamecano is a fantastic young talent, with his ability on the ball among his more strong attributes. While he is physically imposing and strong in the air, he has a habit of rushing into challenges and often leaving space behind him as he comes into midfield with the ball. With the right coaching, it’s believed across the game that he could become one of the best defenders in the world.
At Leipzig, he is a mainstay in the starting line-up and already in a system that covers for his deficiencies. Under Julian Naglesmann he is working under one of the better coaches in Europe, who will help to iron out the flaws in his game and help him polish his game before the inevitable big move comes.
It’s unknown whether there is a release clause in the new contract, but logic would dictate that if there is it would be significantly higher than his previous one while the terms of his deal would almost certainly have been improved also.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Bayern Munich will all need to look elsewhere if they want to bolster their defence this summer but the option of Upamecano becoming available again from next summer is very real and would be a great option for all if he sharpens up the edges of his game.