Arsenal and United set for summer defender battle

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Arsenal and Manchester United are heading for a summer transfer battle in the race to sign Neven Subotic.

The Borussia Dortmund defender has vowed to concentrate on his football ahead of the World Cup, but speculation from Premier League sides Arsenal and United will be difficult to ignore for the Serbian international.

The youngster spent two seasons at the University of South Florida between 2004 and 2006, representing the USA national youth teams at U17 and U20 level.

After impressing in the States and on a trial in Europe, Mainz 05 swooped for the 21-year-old and he made his debut against Bayern Munich for the already relegated side at the end of the 06-07 season.

The following campaign saw Subotić hold an influential role in the centre of defence for the 2. Bundesliga side, helping Die Nullfünfer to the best defence in the league.

A fourth place finish meant Mainz 05 missed out on promotion, but a move to Dortmund meant Subotic would be plying his trade at the top level in Germany. A regular for Die Schwarzgelben, Subotic has impressed scouts with his quality at Signal Iduna Park.

Dubbed 'the new Vidic', Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester City are also thought to be interested in the Dortmund youngster. Sir Alex Ferguson is a known admirer, but the Red Devils have already added Chris Smalling to their defence.

Arsene Wenger missed out on the Fulham youngster, and is keen to make the addition of a player who would be seen as the eventual replacement for William Gallas. Scout Gilles Grimandi has already travelled to watch the Serbian, although a £20 million price tag could be a stumbling block.

Agent Steve Kelly has tried to play down the reports as the player tries to stay focused on his countries 2010 South Africa challenge. With nine caps already to his name, Subotic is expected to play an influential part in the World Cup.

Speaking to, Kelly said: "It’s no secret that the boy is on the list of many clubs, but that is not to say that he’ll be leaving Dortmund."

“For now he is just concentrating on the World Cup which will be an important stage for him.”

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