It look as though Arsenal will have to part with one of their highly-rated youngsters in order to secure the signing of this defender before the transfer deadline.
According to the Daily Mail, Red Bull Leipzig are demanding that England youth international Emile Smith Rowe is part of any deal to take defender Dayot Upamecano to Arsenal.
German newspaper Bild (subscription required), revealed that the Gunners had a £55m bid rejected for the Leipzig star, the Frenchman has a £92m (€100m) release clause in his contract.
The Mail report that Leipzig would like 19-year-old Smith Rowe to be included in any deal for the centre-back, on either a loan or permanent basis. The report states that the Gunners value the exciting youngster at £25m.
The Mail understand that Arsenal are hopeful of reaching an agreement for the 20-year-old centre-back before the transfer deadline on Thursday.
It’s also claimed that the Gunners are focusing on a deal for Upamecano rather than a move for Juventus star Daniele Rugani.
Goal report that Leipzig value Upamecano at £70m, including Smith Rowe on a permanent deal could be enough to seal the star’s signing.
The Mail also state that the Gunners are strapped for cash after their £72m deal for Nicolas Pepe, meaning a move for Upamecano would have to be paid in instalments.
It’s not surprising to see that Leipzig have called for the inclusion of highly-rated Smith Rowe as part of the deal.
The ace spent the second-half of last season on loan at Leipzig but was limited to just 3 appearances and a total of 28 minutes after struggling with injuries.
Leipzig have an amazing track record with developing young players and Smith Rowe could really fast-track his way through England’s youth ranks with a move abroad.
The ace is already accomplished with the Young Lions, featuring at Under 16s, 17s, 18s and 19s level.
Arsenal are in desperate need of adding a quality centre-back to their ranks this summer. Laurent Koscielny’s exit was confirmed earlier today, leaving Unai Emery with just three fit senior central defenders heading into the season.
Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers are the main options at centre-back. Spaniard Nacho Monreal could cover the position until Rob Holding returns from injury.
Upamecano has been sensational since joining Leipzig from sister club Red Bull Salzburg in January 2017. The 20-year-old has made 55 Bundesliga appearances since his move.
The France Under-21s international could be perfect for Unai Emery’s plans as he currently plays in a 3-5-2 system which the Spaniard has deployed for the Gunners quite frequently since becoming boss.