Highly sought-after French starlet Dayot Upamecano has agreed a January move from Red Bull Salzburg to RB Leipzig, following recent speculations linking him with the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester City. The Austrian club confirmed a number of top clubs were interested in the centre-back, but the 18-year-old has decided to join the high-flying Bundesliga surprise package by signing a deal that expires in 2021.
The youngster is considered one of the most promising defenders around Europe, having helped his country conquer the 2015 Euro U17 Championship.
The Mirror reported at the time that Arsenal and Manchester United were battling for his services, but Red Bull Salzburg eventually won out after paying around £2m (€2.3m) to Valenciennes for his services.
Upamecano's profile has grown at the Austrian side, and earlier in December Sport reported that he was once again being tracked by Europe's elite – including RB Leipzig, Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester City.
The Spanish publication said the France defender had turned down a new offer from Arsenal as he didn't want to move to the Premier League.
They continued to say that Leipzig were leading the chase ahead of Barcelona, due to the close relationship between Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.
Sport added that former Barcelona star Oscar Garcia Junyent, who is current the Red Bull Salzburg boss, had given good reports to the Catalans over Upamecano and the player was waiting for an offer from La Liga giants before making a final decision.
It is uncertain whether Barcelona made that bid, but one way or another the French starlet has agreed to continue his career at Leipzig.
"Dayot Upamecano has left FC Red Bull Salzburg to join RB Leipzig, who are currently second in the German Bundesliga," the Austrian club confirmed through an official statement. "The 18-year-old Frenchman came to Salzburg in July 2015, playing 23 competitive matches and becoming an Austrian champion and cup winner with the Red Bulls. The defender has also made 16 appearances for FC Liefering and played three times for Salzburg's UEFA Youth League team."
Meanwhile, Salzburg head of football Christoph Freund admitted that other top European clubs had also tried to get his services, but failed to confirm whether the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal did make an offer for his signature.
"We are very proud with the way Dayot has performed for us in recent months and to have been able to develop a player with his quality in the Austrian Bundesliga. Due to the many high-profile interested clubs and queries in the past few weeks, it was only going to be a matter of time until he left us, and he has decided to leave FC Red Bull Salzburg for one of the best leagues in Europe," the club chief confirmed.