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Dayot Upamecano to Arsenal latest: Contract decision made, player’s stance on £50.4m transfer

Arsenal signed a new centre-back in the January transfer window, with Pablo Mari arriving on loan from Flamengo.

However, Mikel Arteta is reportedly a big fan of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, and the Gunners remain interested in a summer deal.

The Gunners have been linked with the French defender since last year, with a significant bid said to have been rejected during Unai Emery’s time in charge.

But Arsenal are not alone in their interest in the 21-year-old, with some of Europe’s top clubs said to be chasing the defender.

Take a look at a timeline of events regarding Arsenal’s reported pursuit of the RB Leipzig man.

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Who is Dayot Upamecano?

Upamecano is a 20-year-old centre-back who was born in France but holds dual citizenship with Guinea-Bissau.

He is right-footed and can also play in central midfield. He plies his trade in the German Bundesliga with Red Bull Leipzig, where he has played for two seasons, since moving from the other Red Bull team in Salzburg for £9million.

Dayot Upamecano in action for Leipzig (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)

Upamecano is big, strong and with pace to burn. Not only that but he is an old-fashioned defender who “loves to defend” according to France youth coach Jean-Claude Giuntini in 2015.

He grew up playing alongside the likes of Ousmane Dembele.

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How did he get on last season?

Pretty well, for the first half of the season at least.

He made 22 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig, which helped them into the top four in the Bundesliga and into next season’s Champions League.

(Image: TF-Images/Getty Images)

However, his season was cut short by a knee injury.

Missed 18 games as a result of the injury, between January and May, returning to the team for the final two games of the campaign.

What happened in the summer?

According to German publication Bild, Arsenal made a huge offer to try and snare Upamecano.

Having spent a whopping £72million on Pepe, Bild said that Arsenal have lodged a bid of €60million for the 20-year-old centre-back, having been linked with him in the past.

That offer was rejected by Leipzig, who do not want to sell.

What he has said about his future

Upamecano helped the Bundesliga side into the Champions League this season.

And what he said a year ago should concern Arsenal if they have any hope of capturing the defender.

He has another two years left on his current Leipzig contract, and said in 2017/18: “I see no reason why I should go away. I have a huge opportunity here to develop and to get regular game time.”

Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig.
(Image: TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)

He also said, during his time at Salzburg that he “didn’t want to go to a very big club too soon”.

Could a move to the Premier League, just a year later, be seen as too soon…