Arsenal lead Manchester United in Matthias Ginter race

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Arsenal are ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign Freiburg’s £8m-rated defender Matthias Ginter, who recently made his debut for Germany’s senior national team.

The Mirror report that the highly-rated 20-year-old, who made his international debut against Chile earlier this month, was watched by the Gunners’ chief scout Steve Rowley at the weekend. Ginter played the full 90 minutes for relegation-threatened Freiburg in their surprise 4-1 away victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday afternoon.

The commanding 6ft 3in centre-back has played in every one of Freiburg’s Bundesliga matches this season, and his mature performances have caught the eye of Europe’s top clubs, including both Arsenal and Manchester United. Arsene Wenger is keen to sign Ginter as a direct replacement for club captain Thomas Vermaelen, who could leave the Emirates Stadium this summer after spending most of the season on the substitutes’ bench.

Ginter, meanwhile, may prefer to join Arsenal over the Red Devils because of the Gunners’ German contingent and the fact the north London outfit will almost certainly be competing in the Champions League next season, unlike David Moyes’s side who, incidentally, have no German players in their squad.

Arsenal’s Germany internationals include Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and talismanic defender Per Mertesacker, while Serge Gnabry, Thomas Eisfeld and Gedion Zelalem are also developing nicely under Wenger’s management.

However, while the chance to become the latest German at the Emirates Stadium may well be an attractive proposition for Ginter, Manchester United might be able to offer the youngster more playing time. The reigning Premier League champions’ defence is far from solid at the moment, while Nemanja Vidic will leave the club at the end of the season in order to join Inter Milan, and Rio Ferdinand has yet to sign a new contract.

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