Christoph Kramer
Arsenal are preparing a £20m bid to beat Manchester United to the signing of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph KramerGetty

Arsenal are reportedly planning to make a £20m bid for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph Kramer when the January transfer window opens in just under two weeks time.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger is keen to sign a defensive midfielder and will not go for a stop-gap player and instead will see if he can land a top quality star like the German midfielder.

The Frenchman is in the market for a defensive midfielder as he continues his search for a long term replacement for skipper Mikel Arteta, who currently occupies that position. The Gunners boss is aware that he needs to add some steel in the middle of the park and has earmarked Kramer as the perfect candidate for the job.

The German international, is a Leverkusen player, but is currently on his first year of a two-year loan spell with Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach. But his parent club, are reluctant to sell the player and are considering cutting his loan short and taking him back in the summer, following his rapid rise that saw him start in Germany's World Cup final against Argentina in Brazil earlier this year.

Apart from Arsenal, Premier League rivals Manchester United are also keeping close tabs on the defensive midfielder, but both the English clubs could face competition from 10-time European Champions Real Madrid.

While Leverkusen, despite being reluctant to sell him, will not take note of any offers below the £25m they are expecting if they are to let him leave during the winter transfer window.

Wenger has been linked with moves for various other players in the similar position, Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender and Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin are couple of the names being mentioned.

However, it will be difficult to convince the respective clubs to let go of their key players in the middle of the season, with replacements particularly hard to come by at this time of the year.