Chelsea have entered the chase for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and will battle the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Manchester City for the Frenchman's signature.
The 22-year-old French international is one of the most sought-after center-halves in Europe, and reports have confirmed the existence of a £40 million [€45 million/$55 million] release clause in his contract that becomes active in the summer.
As per Goal and Spox, there will be quite a tussle to secure Upamecano's services among the biggest names across Europe with Chelsea in the mix as well - however, there are currently no front-runners in the race to secure his services next season.
Upamecano signed a new contract at the German outfit last year, that ties him with the club till 2023. However, given the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the club, Leipzig are expected to cash in on one of their most valuable assets at the end of the season.
"I have extended my contract with Leipzig. I am targeted by several clubs, I speak with clubs, but I have time. We will see what happens in the future," said Upamecano, on his future at RB Leipzig.
Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann, who's himself been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, conceded at the beginning of the season that he was unsure if Upamecano would stay beyond the end of the 2020-21 season.
In September 2020, Nagelsmann told ESPN: "He [Upamecano] will be here for this season. I'm sure about that. As for the future, I'm not sure as he is very talented."
Italian journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano recently reported that Upamecano is expected to leave the German club in the summer, and would only be allowed to make a switch in January should a suitor exceed his release clause in their offer.
However, it's been since confirmed that Upamecano won't leave Leipzig in January, which will spark a mass-interest war for the high-rated defender in the summer.
Upamecano burst onto the scene last season with a couple of match-winning defensive displays in the Champions League knock-out stages en route to the semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain.
As reported recently by James Robson , Chelsea want to improve the defence and are keeping Upamecano under consideration' as they explore long-term options.