Arsenal & Manchester United in transfer battle over £4.5m Spanish starlet

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Arsenal have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Sporting Gijon defender Borja Lopez, according to reports.

The Daily Express cite reports in Spain when claiming that Gunners chief Arsene Wenger has taken an interest in the 18-year-old, who has a minimum fee release clause of £4.5million in his contract.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been linked with a move for the Spanish starlet in the past, according to the report, but has rarely raided the country for players during his 25-years in charge at Manchester United.

Indeed, the Red Devils currently have David de Gea between the sticks at Old Trafford, but few others have joined the club from La Liga or lower in the Premier League era.

Gerard Pique would have been a success story, but his time with Manchester United was short-lived before a return to Barcelona in 2008.

It’s a different story at Arsenal however, with Wenger regularly taking a chance on players from Spain.

Cesc Fabregas is the most obvious example, whilst Santi Cazorla, Ignasi Miquel and Nacho Monreal still have the chance to make an impact with the Gunners over the coming years.

Lopez might be the next on the list at the Emirates Stadium, but Arsenal have a battle on their hands to secure the services of the player, with one of their great rivals also keen and unlikely to let the teenager join a rival without a fight.

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