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Chelsea join Upamecano sweepstakes, make RB Leipzig defender ‘No.1 target’ — report

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Expected rumor is expected

Schalke 04 v RB Leipzig - German Bundesliga Photo by Peter Lous/Soccrates/Getty Images

You might be familiar with the name Dayot Upamecano already, especially if you pay attention to not just the Premier League.

You might know him as one of the (very good) reasons why (also very good) Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu hasn’t been getting much playing time at RB Leipzig — it was Upamecano’s suspension that gave Ampadu the chance against Spurs incidentally, which he grabbed with both hands just like his barber grabbed the shears not long before.

If you’re not familiar with the name Dayot Upamecano however, do not worry. You’re sure to be over the next 3-4 months as we wind down the football season and head into Silly Season. The 21-year-old center back is expected to be one of the most highly coveted players this summer — in fact, he was already tangentially involved in a Chelsea rumor back in January, with Leipzig apparently sounding out the possibility of replacing him with Andreas Christensen.

Christensen has since become a key figure in Frank Lampard’s starting lineups, so the only way Upamecano’s name was going to pop up again was if we were directly linked with him.

Lo and behold!

Storm Bayern left plenty of destruction but also fertile transfer rumor ground in its wake, with the Mirror jumping in quickly to plant a “No.1 target” with Upamecano’s face on it. They’ll probably return to it in regularly in the coming weeks and months, making sure it’s got enough water and fertilizer. There’s guaranteed click-fruit on the end of this little seedling.

But we’re hardly alone in hoping for this harvest. Upamecano has already been linked with a veritable who’s who of European elite, from all the usual suspects to even Spurs. Last week it was Arsenal and Manchester City, this week it’s Chelsea and Bayern and whoever else.

The France youth international meanwhile used to dream of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United (boooring!) while growing up, and just last week all but admitted that he’s planning on leaving Leipzig in the summer.

“First I focus on RB Leipzig and then about what I intend to do, but there are clubs that love me. I will speak well with my agents and my parents at the end of the season. And we will make the right decision.”

-Dayot Upamecano, Mundo Deportivo via Football España

Do Chelsea have a chance? Possibly.

Upamecano’s contract reportedly includes a variable buyout clause that will be set at €80m this summer. With his contract up the following season (2021), Leipzig will probably still be able to stand firm on that price given the level of interest already shown all around Europe. Chelsea could certainly afford that, but would Upamecano choose us over the other options?