Arsenal's pursuit of German star Mats Hummels has been boosted after Manchester United pulled out of the race to bring him to the Premier League.
As reported by the Daily Star, it appears that the Red Devils are no longer interested in the Borussia Dortmund centre-half, and will now try and bring Argentine international Ezequiel Garay to Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
It was expected that United boss Louis van Gaal was set to make a move for Hummels in the winter market, but it now appears that he's set his sights on Zenit St Petersburg's Garay, as he goes in search of improving his side's back-line.
Arsenal, then, could have a clear run in their bid to bring Hummels to England's elite division in 2015. Despite struggles at Dortmund this campaign, Hummels has proved a consistent figure for the club domestically and on the European scene over recent years.
And, with Arsenal in desperate need of defensive improvement, it's not surprising that the club have been heavily linked with the experienced Dortmund man. The Gunners have endured a defensive nightmare this term, with the likes of Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs all having struggled with injury throughout the course of the campaign so far.
- Garay is a January transfer target for United
- Arsenal ready £32m offer for Mats Hummels
- Arsenal and United set to battle for Hummels
United to improve
Manchester United, on the other hand, will be hoping to add to their ranks in the near future after a number of poor defensive displays throughout the early stages of this campaign.
After losing the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Co. last summer, it appears that Van Gaal recognises Garay as the man he wants to marshall his back-line at Old Trafford. Garay - who starred in this past summer's World Cup in Brazil - only joined Zenit in the last window, so it remains to be seen as to whether he would be interested in a move to England's elite division in the near future.
It certainly looks set to be a busy January transfer window for both Manchester United and Arsenal as they look to improve after a below-par start to the season.