Arsenal transfer news: Gunners eye £70m RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano as they step up centre-back chase


The Gunners are looking to bring in a central defender as they agree deal to sell Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux, with Daniele Rugani a possibility

Arsenal are eyeing a move for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano as they battle the clock in their bid to bolster their defensive options ahead of the new season.

The Gunners are in the market to bring in a centre-back before Thursday’s 5pm BST (12pm ET) transfer deadline having agreed a fee with Bordeaux for Laurent Koscielny.

The 33-year-old has been in France to undergo a medical ahead of a €5 million (£4.6m/$5.6m) move to the Ligue 1 club – with a deal expected to go through within the next 24 hours.

Arsenal had been reluctant to let their captain leave, even after he had refused to travel with the squad for the pre-season tour to the United States.

But having held several rounds of talks with the defender during the past week, he made it clear he was determined to return to France – so a deal has been agreed with Bordeaux.

With Koscielny’s exit now imminent, Arsenal are looking to bring in a replacement and are interested in 20-year-old RB Leipzig defender Upamecano.

Contact has been made with the Bundesliga club, but Leipzig value the Frenchman at around £70m ($85m) – a price that would make a deal extremely difficult for Arsenal, given the budget they are working to this summer.

There has been also continued interest in Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani.

Arsenal had a two-year loan offer knocked back by the Serie A champions for the Italy international last week.

Daniele Rugani Juventus 2018

Juventus are reluctant to let Rugani leave due to injury concerns over Giorgio Chiellini, who has been struggling with a persistent calf problem.

They could be open to a permanent deal, however, but are believed to be demanding a fee of up to £50m ($61m).

Arsenal feel that price has been too high and would prefer to take Rugani on loan, with an option to buy included at the end of the season.

The north London club are open to allowing Shkodran Mustafi to leave to raise further funds this summer, but the German centre-back has made it clear he wants to stay at the Emirates.

Mustafi has been out of favour with Unai Emery and has now fallen behind Calum Chambers in the pecking order, with the Englishman set to start alongside Sokratis on Sunday in the Premier League opener at Newcastle.

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But despite being told he can go, Mustafi has been settled in London and Arsenal are yet to receive a firm offer for the 27-year-old.

One soccer professional who does look certain to leave before Thursday’s transfer deadline, however, has been Carl Jenkinson – who has been close to completing a permanent move to Nottingham Forest.

In terms of further incomings, the Gunners still hope to come to an agreement with Celtic for left-back Kieran Tierney, with talks continuing with the Scottish champions over the structure of a £25m ($30.5m) deal.


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