RB Leipzig will refuse to let emerging star Dayot Upamecano leave as a free agent in 2021, meaning the player will have to be sold this summer unless he signs a new contract with the Bundesliga side.
At 21, Upamecano has emerged as one of the best defensive prospects in Europe over the last couple of years and has been linked with a host of the continent’s biggest clubs.
90min revealed in November that Manchester City were considering making a move for him as early as January, especially with the absence of Aymeric Laporte and departure of Vincent Kompany.
Ultimately, Laporte did return to action in January and City opted against formalising interest in Upamecano that early, but 90min was also able to reveal more recently that the club are still want to bring in not one but two new centre-backs ahead of next season.
Arsenal have regularly linked with Upamecano, while Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have all been credited with interest in the Frenchman. Paris Saint-Germain could also be in the market for a centre-back as veteran star Thiago Silva is leaving the club.
Bild writes that while Upamecano’s €60m (£53.4m) release clause is currently active, it will expire on 30 June. That gives interested clubs only a limited window to try and secure the player’s signature for a fixed price that appears to offer great long-term value given his potential.
90??? ?????????: Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle, West Ham & Wolves among a number of clubs to be considering a contract offer for Thiago Silva. ✍️?— 90min (@90min_Football) June 9, 2020
“Upa is an extremely important player for us and one of the most sought after talents in this position in Europe,” general manager Oliver Mintzlaff has also told the publication.
“One thing we can assure: that we have a very clear understanding with him and his agent, that we do not let him go free. We cannot afford that as a club. So there are two options: extend or move. I am absolutely certain that we will know relatively quickly which direction we are going.”
If Leipzig do not sell Upamecano in the coming weeks, his value will only fall as he enters the final year of his contract. No sale and no new contract would permit the player to begin negotiating with clubs with a view to a free transfer for next summer as soon as January.
Source : 90min