Arsenal face heavy competition in the race for Dayot Upamecano this summer, with Zinedine Zidane reportedly pushing Real Madrid to make a move.

Schalke's Welsh forward Rabbi Matondo and Leipzig's French defender Dayot Upamecano vie for the ball during the German First division Bundesliga football match between FC Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig on February 22, 2020, in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. (Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN / AFP)
Schalke’s Rabbi Matondo and Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano vie for the ball on February 22, 2020. (Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN / AFP)

Spanish outlet AS report that Zidane is keen to freshen up his defensive options this summer. He wants Real Madrid to sign Dayot Upamecano this summer, the RB Leipzig centre-back the media regularly link to Arsenal.

Zidane is less and less willing to turn to Nacho Fernandez as an option, and he also isn’t keen on summer signing Eder Militao. He wants to bring in Upamecano as the primary alternative to Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.

AS report that Upamecano is worth around €45m at this stage, with just over a year on his contract. This is a bit lower than other recent estimates, closer to €60m.

Arsenal tried to sign the defender last summer, and reports suggest it’s likely they’ll go back again this year.

That’s probably going to depend on the end of the season, though. Finishing outside the Champions League – and possibly the Europa League too – will leave the club low on cash and struggling to draw top players.

That’s particularly the case when you’re up against Real Madrid. Even a squad role at the Bernabeu is probably more appealing than a move to most clubs in Europe. The Premier League still has a big draw too, but with Arsenal struggling domestically and in Europe, they’re not making a good case on the pitch recently.

It’s still possible the offer of a starting role might give the Gunners the edge. With the Euros in 2021, Upamecano might start getting his hopes up over a spot on the plane. Let’s just focus on the end of the season first.