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David Ornstein gives Benjamin Sesko Arsenal update

David Ornstein gives Benjamin Sesko Arsenal update

Benjamin Sesko is very prominent in Arsenal’s list of summer targets, but the situation hasn’t progressed past early talks, according to David Ornstein.

Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko celebrates scoring the second goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany on May 18, 2024. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to The Athletic FC podcast this week, David Ornstein gave an update on Arsenal’s pursuit of RB Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko.

Ornstein started by highlighting that this isn’t the first time Arsenal have shown interest in Sesko, with the Gunners tracking the striker before he even moved to RB Leipzig.

Arsenal reportedly think highly of Sesko, and Ornstein claims he’s top of or at least “very prominent on” their list of candidates. But nothing concrete is happening with him just yet, just lots of conversations.

Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match between RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen in Leipzig, eastern Germany on May 11, 2024. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

In terms of the competition for the signature, Ornstein reports that Chelsea and Manchester United both like him, and he’s on both of their transfer shortlists – though United believe Arsenal are ahead of them in the race.

RB Leipzig are also discussing a new contract with the player, so whilst there is belief in the market that he will move, he can’t rule out a stay.

The Standard reported earlier this week that Chelsea retain strong interest in Sesko and are still confident they can rival Arsenal for a deal.

According to that report, both Arsenal and Chelsea are in a strong position, but whilst Arsenal will look to do a deal below the player’s €65m (£55.4m) release clause, Chelsea may be willing to activate it.

Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany on May 18, 2024. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany on May 18, 2024. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

On the other side of things, recent reports have suggested that AC Milan are out of the race, as the move isn’t viable for the Serie A club.

Sesko is expected to decide his future before the Euros, whether that’s to sign a new contract with Leipzig or to leave on a permanent deal.

The centre-forward has been called up by Slovenia, and his €65m (£55.4m) release clause will expire at the end of June, so it makes sense to get the deal done quickly.

The striker scored 18 goals and provided two assists in 42 games (22 starts) this season, averaging a goal or assist every 103 minutes. He ended the season with goals in seven consecutive Bundesliga fixtures.