'Upamecano won't leave on a free' - RB Leipzig prepared to sell Arsenal & Bayern target

Goal.com

RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano has been told he will be sold when the transfer window reopens unless he commits to a new contract, as rumours linking him with Arsenal and Bayern Munich continue to swirl.

Upamecano has developed into one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe since joining Leipzig from Red Bull Salzburg in 2017.

The 21-year-old has impressed consistently at the heart of the defence, although his form has tailed off since the Bundesliga season restarted and he was sent off in the 1-1 draw with Paderborn last Saturday.

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Upamecano, whose current contract runs until June 2021, has a release clause of €60 million (£54m/$68m) that will expire at the end of this month.

Arsenal reportedly saw a bid for Upamecano turned down before the start of the 2019-20 campaign and are expected to revive their interest this summer, while Bayern have also been tipped to submit an offer of their own.

Leipzig sporting director Oliver Mintzlaff has made it clear that the Frenchman will not be allowed to leave on a free transfer in 2021, while suggesting the club could cash in on a prized asset at the end of the season.

"'Upa' is an extremely important player for us and one of the most sought-after talents in Europe," Mintzlaff told Bild.

"And we can assure that we have a clear understanding with him and his agent he won't leave us on a free. We can't afford that as a club.

"There are only two options: prolong or leave. I am sure we'll soon find out in which direction it's going."

Upamecano will be missing from Julian Nagelsmann's squad when Leipzig take in a trip to Hoffenheim on Friday as he serves a suspension following the red card received last time out.

The Saxony-based outfit are sitting third in the Bundesliga table after 30 fixtures and must get back to winning ways to stay ahead of their rivals in the race for a top-four finish.

Leipzig, whose stalemate against Paderborn saw their title aspirations slip away, are only three points ahead of fourth and fifth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen with four matches left to play.

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