Matthias Ginter

Arsenal are leading Manchester United for the signature of highly rated Freiburg defender Matthias Ginter and are planning a £8m bid in the summer, according to the Mirror.

The Gunners have been scouting the defender for 20 months and have finally stepped up their interest in the player before a final bid after the end of the season.

The 6'3" defender is among the best defensive prospects to come out of Germany in recent years and is being tipped to go to the world cup as cover for the likes of Per Mertesacker and Mats Hummels.

Arsenal are bracing themselves for the departure of Thomas Vermaelen in the summer, who has failed to book a starting place for himself in the squad, ahead of the likes of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

With the Belgian gone, Arsene Wenger has turned his sights to Ginter to provide support and also take over from Mertesacker when the German decides to hang his boots in the near future.

The defender has already made 25 starts this season in the Bundesliga and made his full debut for Germany against Chile in a recent friendly.

The Gunners will be heavily contested by Manchester United for his signature, but with the Red Devils set to miss out on Champions League football after a harrowing defeat at the hands of Liverpool, the Emirates may prove to be a more desirable option for the 20-year-old.

The fact that the Emirates is overloaded with germans by the likes of Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Serge Gnabry may also provide an added impetus for the player to choose the Gunners over their rivals from Manchester.

The Gunners have had a brilliant season thus far and are still challenging for the title, and will find themselves above league leaders Chelsea if they can win their next two games, which includes a trip to Stamford Bridge.

It will be Arsene Wenger's 1000th game in charge of the Gunners since joining the club in 1996 as he tries to outdo Jose Mourinho for the first time ever at home, in the Portuguese manager's fifth year in charge of the Blues.