Arsenal & Chelsea Keen On German Under-21 International Defender

Premier League giants may battle it out for Freiburg youngster.

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Premier League giants Arsenal and Chelsea could fight it out for the signing of young SC Freiburg centre-back Matthias Ginter in January, CaughtOffside understands.

The 19-year-old is highly rated in the Bundesliga, and has been linked with Arsenal before, though a move in the summer failed to materialise.

Still, with the Gunners looking a little short of options at the back, Arsene Wenger is hoping he can sign this quality young player as cover with the long-term plan of promoting him to first choice at the Emirates Stadium.

Since the surprise loss of form of Thomas Vermaelen last season, Arsenal have relied heavily on the pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, the latter of whom Wenger will look with help in recruiting his fellow countryman.

With a strong German contingent already at the club, Wenger was able to look to Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski to help recruit talented playmaker Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid this summer, as the 24-year-old made a surprise deadline day move to north London for a club-record £42.4m.

Ginter would likely cost around £10m, but is also in the sights of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who also tried to sign defensive cover for much of the summer transfer window, though he failed in ambitious moves for the likes of Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala and Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane.

This may lead the Portuguese coach to look to youth as a possible alternative, with Sporting Lisbon defender Eric Dier also being linked as a target for the Blues late on in the summer.

It is not clear if Ginter himself is angling for a move away from Freiburg, though Arsenal are confident that the German connection at the Emirates as well as Wenger’s reputation with nurturing young players might be enough to persuade him to switch the Bundesliga outfit for the Premier League giants.

Arsenal have been criticised for recruiting too many young players in recent years, though a move for Ginter would represent a more ambitious piece of business, due to his growing reputation as a potential top talent.

Wenger has also been linked with other German talent of late, with various reports suggesting he will raid the Bundesliga for the likes of Borussia Dortmund duo Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan when the transfer window re-opens.

Ginter is currently a German Under-21 international, though a senior call-up may be close, and he has been known to operate in midfield if needed, and this versatility is also said to appeal to Wenger, with the likes of Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby facing lengthy spells on the sidelines through injury.

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