Eljif Elmas has joined RB Leipzig from UEFA Champions League rivals Napoli. - © Getty Images
Eljif Elmas has joined RB Leipzig from UEFA Champions League rivals Napoli. - © Getty Images

RB Leipzig to sign Napoli's Eljif Elmas


RB Leipzig will complete the signing of Macedonia international midfielder Eljif Elmas from defending Serie A champions Napoli on 1 January.

Elmas will pen a four-and-a-half year contract at Leipzig through to 30 June 2028. Confirmation of the 24-year-old's transfer follows news of Emil Forsberg's move to New York Red Bulls after nine years at the club.

Elmas said after completing the transfer: "Moving to the Bundesliga and joining RB Leipzig is the stuff of dreams for me. The club is known for the special football they play. They like gegenpressing, play with pace and have a strong attack. All of that suits me down to the ground.

"The team is a cool mix of young talents, who can improve a lot here, and players who’ve experienced and achieved a lot in their long spells at the club. I want to help us stay right in the mix of things at the top of the Bundesliga and potentially cause an upset against Real Madrid in the Champions League.” 

Elmas featured in 36 of Napoli's 38 Serie A matches last season as they ended their 33-year wait to win the title, producing six goals and three assists. He has made 16 appearances in all competitions so far this season, but only four starts.

Elmas previously played in Turkey for Fenerbahçe between 2017 and 2019, having first broken onto the senior club scene with Rabotnicki Skopje in his native Macedonia. He has been capped 56 times by his country, producing 12 goals and 11 assists.

Leipzig sporting director Rouven Schröder said: "By securing the signing of Eljif Elmas, we’ve managed to fill an important position in our attack following Emil Forsberg’s departure. We’ve been monitoring Eljif for a while because he’s an exciting prospect. He looks like the full package, will be a perfect fit for the team personality-wise and he’ll be able to help the team straightaway with his quality."  

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Elmas could make his Bundesliga debut when fourth-placed Leipzig host Eintracht Frankfurt on 13 January 2023. The Macedonian, who can play across the midfield, will also get another crack at the UEFA Champions League when Leipzig take on Real Madrid in the last 16 in February.