Arsenal set to win the race to sign top 21-year-old defender – report

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Arsenal are on course to complete a deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, according to a report in Italy.

Italian media outlet Tuttosport, as quoted by the Sun, is reporting that Arsenal appear to be on the brink of landing a deal to sign the highly-rated RB Leipzig centre-half.

The same article states that Arsenal are set to see off competition from a number of top European clubs, including AC Milan, to secure Upamecano’s signature.

According to the same story, AC Milan made an enquiry about the France Under-21 international but RB Leipzig informed the Serie A giants that the centre-half is headed to Arsenal.

Tuttosport go on to report that the Gunners have agreed a deal for the 21-year-old, who is thought to have a £53m contract release clause in his current Leipzig deal.

The story concludes by saying that Arsenal will need to wrap up a deal before 30 June, when Upamecano’s current contract release clause will expire and allow RB Leipzig to ask for a bigger fee.

Upamecano has made 25 appearances in the Bundesliga this season to help RB Leipzig challenge for a top-three finish behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

The French centre-half moved to Red Bull Leipzig from Red Bull Salzburg in the 2017 January transfer window after two seasons at the Austrian club.

Upamecano has scored three times in 108 games over the past three-and-a-half seasons at the German side, building a glowing reputation in the Bundesliga.

Arsenal are thought to be in the market to sign a top centre-half as Gunners boss Mikel Arteta looks to address one of the clear weaknesses in his squad.

The Gunners signed Flamengo defender Pablo Mari and Southampton full-back Cedric Soares on loan in the January transfer window.

Arsenal will return to Premier League action with a clash against Manchester City on Wednesday 17 June.

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