Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Red Bull Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano after their opening offer was reportedly rejected.
The Bundesliga outfit are also said to have made it clear to the Gunners that the player is not for sale, according to Sky Germany.
New Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will reportedly have funds to spend this month and has made the addition of a new centre-back his top priority.
Arsenal have one of the leakiest defences in the Premier League, having so far conceded 30 goals and kept just four clean sheets.
Only Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has been forced to make more saves than Gunners No 1 Bernd Leno.
Arsenal also have a number of defenders out with injuries, with Calum Chambers’ the latest man on the sidelines after rupturing his ACL, so it is no great surprise that a new defender is expected to arrive at The Emirates in January.
Upamecano is widely regarded as one of the hottest defensive prospects in Europan football, with the 21-year-old attracting plenty of interest from other top clubs including Tottenham.
The Gunners reportedly tried to sign him in the summer for £40million and were rebuffed but the ongoing defensive crisis means they have revisited the deal .
However, Leipzig do not want to let the player go, which could force Arteta’s men to look elsewhere.
Sky Germany also claim that Bayern Munich’s experienced campaigner Jerome Boateng has emerged as a potential alternative to Upamecano.
The Germany international would reportedly cost around £15m and, with Bayern looking to rebuild and bring through some young talent, it would be no surprise if Boateng was allowed to move on this month.
Meanwhile, Italian heavyweights Juventus have pipped Man Utd and Arsenal to the signature of Swedish rising superstar Dejan Kulusevski.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season on loan at Parma from parent club Atalanta, and had attracted interest from some of the Premier League’s big spenders. Read more…