Red Bull Salzburg starlet Dayot Upamecano has turned down an offer from Arsenal, as the 18-year-old centre-back is holding out for a move to Barcelona, according to Sport. The Frenchman was expected to join Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig, but the Spanish publication claims a bid from the Catalan outfit could change his plans.
Upamecano is seen as one of the next big things in French football, excelling for his team at youth level. He was part of the side that won the 2015 Euro U17 Championship.
Arsenal had previously tried to lure the player from Valenciennes to their academy as a prospect for the future.
Back in February 2015, The Mirror reported that the Gunners were close to signing the teenager from the French side in a £1m deal, beating the likes of Manchester United for his services.
However, Upamecano eventually joined Red Bull Salzburg that summer after the Austrians agreed to pay around £2m for his services.
The Frenchman has since continued his development in Austria, having made 20 appearances under former Watford manager Oscar Garcia Junyent this season despite his youth.
Earlier this week Sport reported that Upamecano's impressive progress had piqued the interest of Barcelona, as the La Liga giants have been tracking the player since his early days at Valenciennes.
The Catalans signed Samuel Umtiti during the summer but are reportedly still looking for another young centre-back, as Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu are already the wrong side of 30. However, they failed to sign Mauricio Lemos from Las Palmas in the summer and in recent times have also been linked with the likes of Ajax starlet Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernandez.
Upamecano looks an attractive option for the La Liga giants but Sport reports Barcelona need to act quick as they are not alone in the race for the French starlet.
The Spanish publication claims the Frenchman has already turned down a new offer from Arsenal as he doesn't want to move to the Premier League.
However, Sport added that Red Bull's largest franchise, RB Leipzig, could beat Barcelona to the punch
The Spanish publication says that Upamecano is waiting for the Catalans as he has already decided to leave Salzburg at the end of the season and wants to play at the Nou Camp.
Manager Garcia Junyent has given his former side Barcelona good reports over the Frenchman but now the club have to make their interest in the player concrete.
Sport insists Upamecano will wait for Barcelona, but should no offer arrive RB Leipzig will be his most likely destination.