Arsenal are ready to take Bayern Munich up on the chance to sign Jerome Boateng on a free transfer – after learning that RB Leipzig will not shift on their asking price for Dayot Upamecano.
New Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that signing a new centre-half has become a top priority this month after they lost Calum Chambers to a ruptured ACL.
As a result, Arsenal have reportedly brought forward their interest in France defender Upamecano, who has emerged as one of European football’s brightest defensive prospects.
But Leipzig have no intention of cashing in on the 21-year-old, with his fine form pushing him into the reckoning for a place in France’s Euro 2020 squad.
As such, the Bundesliga outfit refuse to be moved from their £70m valuation of the defender – and believe that will be enough to deter Arsenal from making an approach.
However, it seems Arsenal will have far more joy in their pursuit for their reported Plan B after reports in Germany stated Bayern Munich are prepared to allow Boateng to move on a free transfer this month.
Initial reports had indicated the Bundesliga champions wanted a €15m (£12.75m) fee for Boateng, who earns a hefty €230,000 (£195,000) a week at the Allianz Arena.
But according to Bild, Bayern are prepared to waive the transfer fee if Arsenal agree to pick up Boateng’s contract in full; thus ensuring they avoid an expensive pay-off for the 31-year-old former Man City man.
Bayern offered Juventus a similar arrangement over the summer, though Maurizio Sarri rejected the chance to bring him in.
The offer, however, is expected to tempt Arsenal, who are unlikely to invest lavish sums this month, and on Friday saw an initial approach for Upamecano fail.
Boateng has made 15 appearances for Bayern this season, but is no longer considered first choice and is regarded as being past his prime by the Bundesliga giants.
Asked what fans can expect from Arsenal in the winter window, Arteta said: “That we will try to be in the market to see options that can strengthen the team, that’s for sure and our obligation and we will be working on that.
“My obligation is to give my opinion on the things we can improve. Obviously we have a bad injury with Calum a few days ago that will change our plans at the back.
“The reality is we will not be able to do much. I’m more concerned about getting players back from injury and try to improve the players I have here, get everybody on board and understanding what we’re trying to do.
“And if something extra comes up and we think it is the right opportunity to improve what we have, then let’s do it.”