Dominik Szoboszlai will soon be announced as RB Leipzig's latest signing. Salzburg and Leipzig struck a deal to send their promising talent to the Bundesliga on Wednesday. The figure will approach the €25 million of the release clause, marking the first big domino to fall during the January transfer window.
Leipzig, who are in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, beat out Arsenal and AC Milan for the prized 20-year-old prospect.
There were no problems in the negotiations between the Austrian and German sides, as the two are part of the Red Bull football group. The final choice therefore had to come from the Hungarian attacking midfielder, with four goals scored and six assists over 11 domestic matches played this season, who chose to join forces and work with Julian Nagelsmann.
Szoboszlai, who reached an agreement with Leipzig on a five-year contract, scored two goals from 13 shots that had an expected goal value of 1.34 in 507 Champions League minutes for Salzburg this season. While he didn't log an assist, he created 14 chances for his teammates and his passes had an expected assist value of 1.04.
Szoboszlai played 80 minutes and scored a goal in a 6-2 win against Rapid Wien in the Austrian Cup round of 16 on Wednesday. He will meet his agent Mathyas Esterhazy in Germany before completing his medical and physical exams on Thursday and eventually putting pen to paper and signing the contract with Leipzig. An official announcement will then soon arrive and the transfer will be valid for January as the club prepares for their February clash against Liverpool in the Champions League, a team Szoboszlai played against twice in the group stage for Salzburg.
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Arsenal were in contact with Szoboszlai's agent for quite some time, but failed to reach a definitive agreement because Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, 22, had been at the top of the Gunners' list since September. Meanwhile, AC Milan tried several times to buy Szoboszlai and may have had a better chance than Arsenal, but the deal was linked to the possible departure of Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who is currently negotiating a new contract with the club.
Leipzig, the winners of the Szoboszlai sweepstakes and currently in the race for the Bundesliga title, will have a real talent on the way.