RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff says he is in “good talks” with Chelsea-linked defender Dayot Upamecano to prevent his likely exit next summer happening for free.
Upamecano has become one of Europe’s most exciting young defenders with his performances this season.
The 21-year-old played 28 of Leipzig’s 34 Bundesliga games and confirmed interest in his services in February.
Indeed, Chelsea are one club linked; the Blues are reportedly keen on the Frenchman alongside Arsenal and they could use Upamecano’s relationship with former Leipzig teammate Timo Werner as a springboard.
Speculation over Upamecano’s future has mounted given he has one year left on his contract.
Speaking to bulinews.com, however, Mintzlaff confirmed that he is close to preventing losing his star player for free next summer.
“I assume that he will also play for us next season,” he said. “We are in good talks to find a solution to prevent him from leaving on a free transfer next year.
“It worked out with Timo Werner, and I assume that we will do our homework with regard to Dayot as well.”
Werner was in a similar position last summer with Leipzig. With only one year left on his deal, he signed a new contract featuring a reported £50million exit clause.
Chelsea triggered the clause in June, taking advantage of Liverpool’s financial reluctance in the process.
Blues boss Frank Lampard reportedly has exciting plans for the upcoming transfer window.
As well as signing Werner and Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech, the manager also wants a left-back.
Leicester’s Ben Chilwell is allegedly Lampard’s top target, with the likes of Porto’s Alex Telles also mentioned.
CHELSEA RECALL FOR JORGINHO
Elsewhere, Lampard confirmed on Monday that he will bring Jorginho back into the fold after a spell out.
The Italian midfielder served a suspension immediately after the lockdown but has not featured since.
Speaking in a press conference, though, Lampard confirmed injury concerns for N’Golo Kante, meaning Jorginho will have a part to play against Crystal Palace on Tuesday.