Mats Hummels has told Borussia Dortmund that he prefers a move to Manchester United over Arsenal ahead of a potential big money transfer to the Premier League, reports The Mail on Sunday.
The centre-back has been linked with both clubs in recent weeks as Borussia Dortmund continue to struggle with life in the Bundesliga. Jurgen Klopp's men currently sit joint bottom of the German top division and will need to cash in on Hummels should they drop out of the Champions League.
Hummels could go for as much as £47 million and Old Trafford appears to be the destination of choice. However, the news looks set to give Arsene Wenger the chance he needs to seal another big deal.
Swings and roundabouts
Should Louis van Gaal get his hands on Hummels, it will give the Gunners a free run at Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho. The defensive midfielder has long been linked with a move to the Premier League and Arsenal are now favourites.
Carvalho can play in both defensive midfield and at centre-back, potentially solving two problems for Wenger. The Frenchman has seen both areas of the Arsenal squad struggle for form and fitness so far this season.
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The 23-year-old will also come significantly cheaper than Hummels with Sporting Lisbon expected to sell for around £24 million. Whether a deal can be agreed halfway through the season is not known, but appears unlikely.
Both Carvalho and Hummels are cup tied in European competition and wouldn't be able to help Arsenal in their Champions League campaign. That doesn't affect Manchester United, of course, who are not participating in Europe this season.