Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and hope to complete a £70m ($102m) deal for the 26-year-old next summer. The forward has already scored 27 goals in all competitions thus far and is being heralded as the best striker in Europe on current form.

The Daily Mail reports that United have major cash reserves to fall back on if they need, with recent financial reports suggesting that the Red Devils have around £121.6m ($176m) to spend if they choose to. The figure is likely to rise with the new Adidas deal boosting their commercial revenue, making them the richest football club in the world. The report states that they are also monitoring the likes of Neymar, Robert Lewandowksi and Gareth Bale to boost their forward line, but a move for either looks unlikely as the parent club are unwilling to sell.

The news will come as a massive blow to Arsenal, who have been heavily linked with a move for the Bundesliga star in the January transfer window, but were priced out of a move. The Gunners were expected to reopen negotiations for the striker in the summer but with United entering the race, it will be very difficult for the north London club to compete in financial terms.

The Red Devils have had an extremely disappointing season thus far, struggling in the fifth spot, six points adrift of a place in the top four, with the teams about them still with a game in hand. Their 2-1 loss to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light opened another chink in Louis van Gaal's armour, with the Dutchman already on a knife's edge after having dropped out of the group stages of the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho is favourites to take over from the former Bayern Munich manager next season, with the manager still biding his time over a new club after being unceremoniously sacked by Chelsea earlier this season. The 53-year-old has already earmarked his transfer plans after taking over at United, with Raphael Varane likely to be his first big signing, while Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini are likely to be shown the door.