Arsenal and Manchester United have reportedly joined the race to sign Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who has also caught the eye of Spanish giants Barcelona.

The 19-year-old centre-back is proving a sensation in Spain this year and a fans' poll recently adjuged him the best centre-back in La liga alongside Villareal's Mateo Musacchio.

Spanish newspaper Daily AS reports that United, Barcelona and Arsenal have all been monitoring him since last summer and the Premier League sides are planning to mount an offensive in June to outbid the Catalans.

The problem is that last December Laporte signed a new deal at Athletic until 2018, with a £30m release clause, and his club are not willing to negotiate a cut-price deal.

Laporte, who came through the Athletic youth system, has played 18 matches this season, 17 as a starter, scoring two goals.

Reports in Spain last week claimed Barcelona were even considering paying his £30m release clause immediately, as manager Gerardo Martino sees him as the long-term successor to 35-year-old Carles Puyol.

Arsene Wenger is also watching him closely as he is looking for a back-up to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Kocielny, with Thomas Vermaelen's future up in the air.

With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand's contracts expiring at the end of the season, Manchester United manager David Moyes is desperately looking to add a centre-back to his squad and Laporte is repordley on a short-list which also includes Benfica's Ezequiel Garay and Porto's Eliaquim Mangala.