Chelsea the latest Premier League club tipped to swoop for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano

The latest speculation stemming from the English media suggests that Chelsea have joined the race for highly-regarded RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano.

Leipzig stint

Upamecano, a 21-year-old central-defender, has emerged as one of German football’s standout performers over the last couple of seasons.

On the back of an impressive stint in Austria on the books of Red Bull Salzburg, sister club Leipzig snapped up Upamecano in January of 2017.

And the stopper, despite his tender years, has since gone on to establish himself as an absolutely integral member of the Bundesliga giants’ backline.

Upamecano has long been hailed for his defensive traits, with the French youth international combining a superb reading of the game, ability in the tackle and pace to burn, all wrapped up in an impressive physical stature.

To this point in the current campaign, the youngster has started in 26 of RB Leipzig’s 33 Bundesliga fixtures, though it is worth noting that he has struggled since the resumption of the German top-flight last month.

Premier League links

Nevertheless, Upamecano’s talents have inevitably begun to pique the interest of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The likes of Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have all been named as keen suitors of the stopper of late.

A report from Sky Sports back in April, meanwhile, suggested that a Manchester derby over Upamecano’s signature could be on the cards.

Despite the widespread assumption having long been that this summer would mark the one in which the Frenchman finally departed the Red Bull Arena, however, recent comments on the part of Upamecano’s agent suggested otherwise.

Speaking in an interview with Sport 1, (as cited by Goal), Volker Struth suggested that the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis was likely to force his client to stay put:

‘I don’t believe in large transfers this summer and I think Upamecano is a player who will demand a large fee. So the statement has already been made.’

MUNICH, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 09: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig looks on during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and RB Leipzig at Allianz Arena on February 9, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Chelsea bound?

Struth’s claims, though, have unsurprisingly done little in terms of putting an end to the speculation surrounding Upamecano’s future.

In fact, as outlined above, the last couple of days have seen yet another of the Premier League’s top clubs tipped as a potential destination for the youngster.

The outfit in question? Chelsea.

As per a report from the reliable Simon Johnson of the Athletic, the Blues are considering a summer swoop for Upamecano.

Frank Lampard is thought to be keen on reinforcements at the heart of his side’s backline ahead of next season, with all of Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen continuing to battle it out for a place alongside Antonio Rudiger.

Upamecano, meanwhile, appears to be viewed as an automatic upgrade on the part of the Pensioners’ hierarchy.

As such, Chelsea could be ready to make use of their strong relationship with RB Leipzig (the capital giants have already clinched Timo Werner’s signing this month) to beat out the competition for Upamecano’s signature this summer.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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