Arsenal edge past Man United in race to sign Dortmund star

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Arsenal have been left in pole position to sign Germany international Mats Hummels after reports from Germany suggested Manchester United have pulled out of the race for the defender’s services.

With the Borussia Dortmund star’s future at the Westfalenstadion coming under intense scrutiny in recent months, Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal were set to go head-to-head to bring the centre-back star to the Premier League.

But United, who are desperate for defensive reinforcements of their own, now look out of the race after reportedly turning their attention to Zenit St Petersburg’s Ezekial Garay.

Van Gaal is a huge admirer of the Argentinean international and is making signing the former Benfica star his number one priority in the January transfer window, leaving the Gunners as favourites to land Hummels.

Wenger is looking to strengthen a shaky defence of his own when the transfer window re-opens and has identified the German as the man to partner Laurent Koscielny at the heart of his back four.

Despite being linked to the likes of West Ham’s Winston Reid and Stuttgart’s Antonio Rudiger, Hummels remains Wenger’s top target and United’s pursuit of Garay is a huge boost to the Gunners.

Jurgen Klopp will be desperate not to lose his star centre-back but after Dortmund’s recent run of form Hummels could be looking for an escape route with England a prime destination.

The 25-year-old, who has played 38 times for Germany, has attracted the interest of a host of top clubs around Europe but Arsenal are at the front of the queue and would have to pay £25m to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.

The north London club, who are 25/1 to win the title, are nine points adrift of league leaders Chelsea but any potential arrival of Hummels would certainly strengthen their bid to follow up last season’s FA Cup win with more silverware.

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