Real Madrid ‘eye Arsenal transfer target’ as long-term Sergio Ramos replacement

Real Madrid have reportedly set their sights on landing Arsenal transfer target Dayot Upamecano.

The Red Bull Leipzig centre-back has caught the attention of a number of clubs across Europe with his performances – the latest of which a man-of-the-match display against Atletico Madrid.

Leipzig managed to tie down the 21-year-old to a new three-year deal just over a fortnight ago, but that may not ensure they keep hold of the defender.

According to Spanish newspaper AS , Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has identified Upamecano as a long-term replacement for captain Sergio Ramos.

While Ramos still has two years left on his contract, Zidane wants to add a young understudy to his squad to learn the ropes from the 34-year-old.

Upamecano could arguably force his way into the Madrid side already, given the way he expertly dealt with Diego Costa in the Champions League quarter final.

More likely would be for Madrid to swoop next summer when reports suggest a clause in Upamecano's contract becomes active, allowing potential suitors to sign him for just over £40million.

That could suit Zidane who would be able to phase out Ramos before adding Upamecano to his ranks for the 2021/22 season.

Madrid already have Raphael Varane and Eder Militao competing for places, but Upamecano would provide added strength in depth.

They will naturally have competition though, namely from Arsenal who have been monitoring Upamecano for a long time.

The Gunners weighed up making a move last summer but eventually spent the lions share of their transfer budget on signing Nicolas Pepe.

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A deal this summer also looks out of the question for Arsenal who are tight on finances, but they should be in a position to compete for his signature in a year's time.

Zidane has seen what has happened over at rivals Barcelona and is keen to make plans before the likes of Ramos and veteran midfielder Luka Modric decline.

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