RB Leipzig have confirmed the £55million signing of young striker Benjamin Sesko from sister club Salzburg.
The 19-year old, who had been targeted by Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle, will stay at Salzburg on loan for the season before joining Leipzig next summer.
The Slovenian international has signed a five-year contract until 2028 at the Red Bull Arena.
‘RB Leipzig is one of the top clubs in Germany and is gradually establishing itself among the best teams in Europe,’ Sesko told the club’s official website.
‘A special success story was written here in just a few years – and I would like to help shape it in the future.
‘The club’s focus on young players and playing attractive, attacking football suits me perfectly.
‘The city, the stadium and the entire infrastructure at RB Leipzig have convinced me – in addition to the many good discussions with the club officials – that the step to Leipzig is absolutely the right one.
‘But now my focus is entirely on the season in Salzburg, in which I want to develop further and be as successful as possible.’
Technical director Christopher Vivell meanwhile added: ‘Benjamin Sesko is one of the top international talents and has huge potential to also become a top player.
‘He brings everything with him, is extremely fast, has enormous jumping ability and is very good in the air. Benjamin is a real goalscorer who, despite being 1.95 metres tall, is agile and technically strong. His skills make him a special player with a special profile.
‘I’ve known Benjamin since he was 15 and was able to convince him to come to Salzburg in 2019. Since then I’ve followed his development closely and seen every goal.
‘It’s the best possible way for Benjamin to play and mature in Salzburg for another year before coming to RB Leipzig. We are already looking forward to that.’
The Bundesliga side are also in the throes of agreeing a £30m deal with Chelsea for the return of Timo Werner.
United had been aware that Red Bull were keen for Sesko to remain within their group and have been looking at alternatives such as Austria internationals Marko Arnautovic of Bologna and Sasa Kalajdzic at Stuttgart.
Despite increased interest, Salzburg had maintained they would not let their star player go this summer unless they received an offer over £50million.
United have had a £7.5m offer rejected by Bologna for Arnautovic with the player’s brother Danijel pushing to get a deal agreed.
United have also lined up Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot as an alternative to Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona.
De Jong has been told by Barcelona he must agree to a new salary if he is to stay and would have limited game time.
They have also challenged whether the contract he signed under previous owners Is legal as pressure builds for him to leave.
The Holland international has genuine interest from Chelsea too, however United maintain they would not have continued to pursue the 25-year old if they were not encouraged he would still join them.