Manchester United join the chase for Fabian Schar

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Manchester United are ready to rival Arsenal for the January signing of Basel defender Fabian Schar as Louis van Gaal makes a powerful centre-back the priority for the coming winter transfer window.

According to the Sunday People, Louis van Gaal has had scouts out looking at a number of options heading into January, including the likes of Mats Hummels and Ron Vlaar, and the young Switzerland international has received good reviews.

Van Gaal’s move for Schar is likely to gain the attention of rival Arsene Wenger, as the Gunners manager was credited with an interest in the him earlier this month when he remarked that he would like to eventually secure a move away from Basel.

A January move is not out of the question as the 22-year-old’s contract at Basel expires next summer and the Swiss giants will be keen to get a transfer fee if they cannot persuade him to sign a new deal to keep him in his homeland, though they are reportedly looking for as much as £10million.

Manchester United’s defence has been their achilles heel so far this season, with injury and a failure to recruit effectively leaving them looking disorganised and individual mistakes costing them dearly nearly every week in the Premier League.

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Van Gaal has been forced to dip into the youth team reserves to cover for injuries, which has seen youngsters like Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett getting the opportunity to make their debuts for the Red Devils.

Gunners Out of Ammo

Meanwhile, Wenger was criticised from the moment the summer transfer window closed for not purchasing another centre-baclk after captain Thomas Vermaelen was sold to Barcelona. It meant any injury was going to be keenly felt and recent poor results have shown how crucial losing the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy can be.

Calum Chambers is being eyed as a centre-back for the future, but has been forced to deputise at right-back to cover for Debuchy and has struggled at times. Arsenal cannot really afford to not sign a centre-back in January, as Koscielny’s problem is chronic tendonitis of the achilles and could take months to heal.

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