ARSENAL have been dealt a bitter blow in the race to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano after reports emerged that he will sign a contract extension.
The 21-year-old’s deal was set to expire in June 2021 which meant he could have been available for a cut-price this summer.
A report by RMC suggests the centre-back will extend his deal at the Bundesliga club to 2022.
The Frenchman’s new deal is understood to have a release clause of £53million – to avoid him jumping ship for free.
He has been a transfer target for a host of European clubs with Bayern Munich, Manchester United and AC Milan all in the market for his signature.
But now it seems he will commit his future to Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff said: “Upa is an extremely important player for us and one of the most sought after talents in this position in Europe.
“One thing we know is that we have a very clear understanding with him and his adviser, that we will not let him go free.
“We cannot afford that as a club.
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“So there are two options: extend or change. I am absolutely certain that we will know relatively quickly which direction we are going.”
The German side have already sold prolific striker Werner to Chelsea for £53million.
And Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are believed to have joined the race for Upamecano as they look for a long-term partner for Antonio Rudiger in the heart of defence.