Arsenal and Manchester United are set to go head-to-head in the race for Basel defender Fabian Schar, according to reports from the Daily Star.

The Red Devils have been linked with the Swiss ace of late, with a double swoop for the centre-back and his team-mate Mohamed Salah having been mooted.

However Arsenal – who themselves have been watching him for some time – are believed to be ready to launch a January swoop for Schar.

Gunners chief Arsene Wenger is keen to bolster his defensive options next month in a bid to keep his side in the battle for the Premier League title, and sees the 21-year-old as a wise addition.

Schar has been in excellent form for his current side in both domestic and European competition, but was unable to help them avoid elimination at the group stage in the Champions League.

Basel are far from willing to let their man leave, but they may be forced to do so after missing out of the financial gain of reaching the last-16 of Europe’s top club competition.

Schar’s agent says that his client is happy in Switzerland, but confirmed that Arsenal are interested:

“He is happy at Basle, where there is a great atmosphere within the club,’ said representative Dimitrios Papadopoulos.

“Arsenal? I can confirm we have had contact with English clubs who want to sign him.

“There is also interest from Italian and German clubs, but we have more contact from England.”

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