Arsenal have made a bid for star RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, according to reports in Germany.
The Gunners have made some eye-catching signings this summer in attacking positions – with winger Nicolas Pepe arriving from Lille and playmaker Dani Ceballos joining on loan from Real Madrid – but the defensive areas are still a concern for Unai Emery’s side.
Captain Laurent Koscielny is pushing for an exit having controversially refusing to play for them in pre-season, leaving Arsenal with limited options at centre-back.
However, German source Bild claim that they have looked to rectify the problem by making a bid for Upamecano, who has already established himself as one of the strongest defenders in the Bundesliga despite only being 20 years of age.
Arsenal’s offer was worth in excess of €60m (£55m), but it was quickly rejected by Leipzig, who have inserted a €100m (£92m) release clause into his contract, which runs until 2021.
The Premier League side are expected to return with another offer before deadline day on Thursday, and Leipzig are expected to be tempted by an offer closer to €80m (£74m).
Earlier this summer, it was suggested that Arsenal were joined in their interest in the France Under-21 international by Bayern Munich – but no update is given on whether or not the Bundesliga champions are still pursuing him.
Incoming Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann, however, is said to view Upamecano as a key element of the 3-5-2 system he plans to implement at his new club, and is keen to keep him.
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