Arsenal fighting Manchester United for Germany U21 ace Maier

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Arsenal are locking horns with Premier League rivals Manchester United for the signature of Hertha Berlin talent Arne Maier, according to Sport Bild via The Sun.

What’s the word?

The Premier League campaign is in full swing but both Manchester United and Arsenal have room for improvements as they battle to secure a top-four finish in 2018-19 and the Champions League football that comes with it.

Formerly the two biggest titans in the league, both sides have seen the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City move ahead of them in recent seasons but that has not taken away their rivalry with one another – and that fight looks set to be replicated in the transfer market.

According to Sport Bild via The SunArsenal are keeping tabs on Hertha Berlin talent Arne Maier but face competition in the hunt for the teenager’s signature from Jose Mourinho’s United, who are also watching the player.

Who is he?

Just 19 years of age, the 6ft tall Maier has established himself as a regular for Hertha Berlin after featuring in the full 90 minutes of all of his side’s three Bundesliga matches so far this season, aiding the side from the capital in their strong start.

Hertha have picked up seven points from their opening three games and sit fourth in the table, with Maier catching the eye and making his debut for Germany’s U21 side this month in the games against Mexico and Ireland.

The German side secured Maier down to a new deal in February to fend off interest from across Europe and a large bid would likely be required to land his signature, as TransferMarkt rates him as worth £6.75m but Hertha would likely demand a much higher figure.

Should he be signed?

A defensive-minded midfielder who is versatile enough to play in a more advanced role if required, Arne Maier could be considered to be a long-term partner to summer signing Lucas Torreira and would add more depth to Unai Emery’s impressive midfield ranks.

However, the concern would be that signing Maier would affect the development of Matteo Guendouzi, who has enjoyed a fine start to life in Arsenal colours, while he is also unlikely to get the same opportunities he is currently enjoying in the Bundesliga.

If he were to be signed, Arsenal could shift their formation to have Maier and Xhaka playing just ahead of Torreira in a 4-3-3 formation and that could be an option if the club fails to retain the services of Aaron Ramsey.