Arsenal have edged ahead of Manchester United in the race for Antoine Griezmann after contacting Real Sociedad to discuss a £12.5m deal for the winger, according to reports from The Express.

The French wide-man is widely thought of as one of the very best players in La Liga outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and has been one of the division’s top performers for some time.

United have been heavily linked with a swoop for his signature in recent weeks, but Arsenal are thought to have made the first move in the battle for his services.

Arsene Wenger is said to have offered around £12.5m for Griezmann, however Sociedad are unwilling to do business for such a sum, and are holding out for closer to £25m – his release clause.

The Gunners’ need to land the pacey winger his increased in recent days amid news that Theo Walcott will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Griezmann is currently the third highest scorer in the Spanish top tier behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Costa, which has put him on the radars of a number of top sides – including PSG.

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