Roberto Firmino
Manchester United are close to signing Roberto Firmino from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim amid interest from rivals LiverpoolGetty

Manchester United are reportedly leading the race for Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino, despite interest shown by arch rivals Liverpool.

According to Tutto Mercato Web, the Hoffenheim midfielder, who is on his way to the Premier League, as confirmed by his agent is closing in on a move to Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal has admitted that he is looking for very good signings ahead of next season to mount a title challenge and has been linked with a move for the Brazilian international since the start of the summer.

"The board of Manchester United shall say now we have to battle for the championship. It's a fantastic challenge but that's also dependable on how we can purchase very good players and how we can improve our balance in our selection," Van Gaal said.

Manchester City and Liverpool have shown keen interest in signing Firmino, who is currently with his national team at the Copa America tournament taking place in Chile, but United seem to be closing in on capturing his signature, with the report claiming that the fee could reach around €25m (£17.8m, $28.3m).

Firmino has been impressive for the Bundesliga side this season and contributed with 10 goals and 12 assists to help his team to a credible eighth place finish. The impressive performances for his club have also seen him become a regular for the Selecao under new coach Dunga.

However, the Etihad Stadium outfit could match any fee that is offered by the 20-times English champions after CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak confirmed that the club are ready to splash the cash during the summer transfer window, as they are keen to return to the top of the pile in the Premier League and make a bigger impact in Europe.