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Arsenal given hope as £82m defensive target makes contract decision

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Arsenal have seemingly been given a lift to their hopes of signing a top centre-back target, although they will have to shell out a fortune to complete a deal.

He said: “Dayot is a very important player on our team and not only showed on Sunday what a fantastic defender he is.

Mikel Arteta is expected to add more defensive recruits this summer, despite the club signing Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares on loan from Flamengo and Southampton respectively, while William Saliba will also return from his temporary spell at Saint-Etienne.

“I also think that we know each other what we have to each other – time will tell how things will go in the medium term.” If that deal does not get done then Upamecano’s release clause is expected to be reduced from €80million to €60million in the summer.

But in a boost to Arsenal’s hopes of signing Upamecano at the end of the current campaign, German outlet Bild has reported that the France defender is refusing to extend his contract at the Red Bull Arena.

Before the new season began there had been talk of a swap deal involving Emile Smith Rowe, who has since joined Huddersfield on loan, but in the end the Gunners had a bid that was thought to be in the region of £50million rejected by RB Leipzig – who were said to be holding out for a fee close to the defender’s release clause of £82m.

His contract expires at the end of next season, which means the Bundesliga side will have to cash in on the centre-back this summer or risk losing him for a cut-price fee or on a free transfer in 2021.
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