Arsenal leading race to sign Joe Gomez from Charlton

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Football News

Arsenal are leading the race to sign Charlton Athletic defender Joe Gomez this summer, but face competition from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.

According to the Daily Mirror, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to recruit the highly-rated England U19 international following an impressive breakthrough season at The Valley.

Gomez has made 23 senior appearances so far in 2014/15 and the Addicks would be willing to do business for around £8 million.

The 17-year-old has already shown he is capable of playing at both right-back and in central defence, and it's that versatility that has attracted Wenger's attention, prompting him to pursue a prospective move to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal's strong relationship with the Championship outfit should give them a slight advantage over their rival suitors, with the two London clubs having negotiated a number of temporary and permanent deals over the past few seasons.

Of course, it was Charlton where the Gunners first acquired the services of Carl Jenkinson in 2011, and they've also been known to send a few players on loan in the opposite direction.

Alex Song enjoyed a productive stint in south east London before making a first-team breakthrough at Arsenal, and earlier this season Francis Coquelin was representing the Addicks in the second tier before returning and establishing himself as an important member of Wenger's senior team.

Manchester City are understood to be Arsenal's biggest challengers for Gomez's signature as Manuel Pellegrini prepares to overhaul is playing squad at the Etihad Stadium, with an emphasis on recruiting young English talent to meet the homegrown quota next season.

However, the uncertain situation surrounding the Chilean coach's future at the club means the talented teenager might be cautious about committing his future there. And, that's before he's even considered the struggles of other young up-and-coming players who've seen their development stall as a result of no regular first-team action.

Manchester United interest?

Louis van Gaal has made tentative enquiries about Gomez's potential availability this summer, and he's already proved he's willing to put faith in youth having promoted a number of Red Devils academy products during his debut campaign at Old Trafford.

The veteran Dutch coach is known to be on the lookout for a new right-sided defender in the summer, but having been heavily linked with Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne it remains to be seen whether he'll proceed with plans to move for Gomez as well. 

Where do you think Joe Gomez is most likely to move this summer? Leave a prediction in the comment box below...

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