Manchester United and Arsenal could be set to stage a summer transfer battle for the services of German centre-back Matthias Ginter, after the player confirmed that he is determined to leave current club SC Freiburg before next season.
According to the Daily Express, citing German source Kicker, the 20-year-old has made it perfectly clear that he is looking to move to pastures new during the looming transfer window, despite the fact that his current club are confident he will stay with them in order to be guaranteed game time. Having proved himself in the Bundesliga since joining the Freiburg first-team in 2012, Ginter has attracted plenty of admirers, and his tall frame means that he would be naturally better equipped to Premier League football than some of Arsenal and United’s other defensive targets.
The duo are both said to be hunting new centre-backs with next season in mind, and so the comments mate by the Germany international - who made the 30-man provisional World Cup squad before being dropped by Joachim Low - will have pleased their respective managers.
Ginter told Kicker: “I've had plenty of time to think and my decision stands.
"I don't want to put anyone under pressure, but I hope that I don't have to worry about it at the tournament."
The Express then go on to relay that £10.5million could be enough to ensure that Freiburg change their stance over Ginter’s position, which places a potential deal well into the realms of possibility concerning either United or Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger said to have £100million at his disposal this summer, and his Old Trafford counterpart over double that, the fee to be paid seems like a relative drop in the ocean.
Of course the return for their money - in this case a burgeoning defender who has plenty of potential and years to give - is a very attractive prospect. Louis van Gaal knows that the purchase of a new central-back is one of his top priorities, having lost both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand since taking over.
The only thing that could put him off of making a move is Ginter’s inexperience at the highest level, which has been a problem before for players from the continent looking to impress in English football. That being said the Dutchman is known for giving youngsters a chance at senior level, and he may want to kick-start his revamp by bringing in an exciting prospect.
On the other hand Wenger seems to be looking for someone who can provide back-up to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker rather than immediately grab a starting spot. The future of club captain Thomas Vermaelen looks precarious, and the addition of someone like Ginter could fill the void if the Belgian departs.