Exclusive: Arsenal Lead Real Madrid In Race To Sign In-Demand Germany Holding Midfielder

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Gunners begin moves to land German water carrier.

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Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has made the purchase of in-demand Borussia Dortmund holding midfielder Ilkay Gundogan his number one priority for when the summer transfer window opens again on July 1.

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The experienced French manager knows that the upcoming summer window is of huge importance for the north London club if they are to once again both challenge for the Premier League title and the Uefa Champions League next season.

And to that effect, Wenger is already understood to be drawing up a list of possible new recruits to bring to the Emirates for the next campaign in order to realise those twin objectives.

Wenger knows that the Gunners are in urgent need of two new world-class front men, especially now that France international Olivier Giroud is set to quit the Premier League giants at the end of the season in order to return back home due to personal reasons.

Meanwhile, the Arsenal boss is also believed to be keen to recruit a new centre back to replace club captain Thomas Vermaelen, with the out-of-favour Belgium international set to quit the north Londoners this summer and move to Serie A outfit Napoli instead.

However, it is in midfield that Wenger is believed to be most keen to add more bodies to his first-team squad, and in particular the crucial holding midfield role that operates in front of the back four and offers much-needed protection to his team’s often exposed defence.

And as a result, Wenger wants to try and steal a march on the likes of both Premier League rivals Manchester United and La Liga giants Real Madrid in the race to land Dortmund’s highly rated defensive midfielder this summer, despite b0th those two outfits having long led the chase for the Germany international.

But in recent weeks, it is believed that both the Red Devils and los Blancos have grown cold on the idea of recruiting the German, especially given that the player is still being dogged by a long-term back injury that has kept him out of action for almost the whole of this campaign.

Gundogan, 23, only has a contract with the Bundesliga side that runs until the end of June 2015 and with there now now real prospect of the youngster extending his stay in the Ruhr Valley, the Gunners hope to be able to pick him up on the cheap this summer.






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