Arsenal to challenge United for Kagawa

Arsenal are preparing to go head-to-head with Manchester United for the signature of Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa.

It’s already been confirmed by club president Michael Zorc that Kagawa will leave the Bundesliga champions at the end of the season and will play in the Premier League.

Zorc said: “Shinji is going to play in England because he has officially rejected our offer of a new contract.”

Reports are indicating that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is lining up an ambitious bid to lure the Japanese playmaker to the Emirates Stadium in the summer.

It was thought that a deal to take the 23-year-old to United had already been finalised with the player moving to Old Trafford when the transfer window re-opens in July.

But that seems to be untrue as Wenger is now readying a £7 million bid to try and tempt Kagawa to join the North London club under the nose of long-standing adversary Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Red Devil’s boss wants him as the long-term replacement for Paul Scholes who came out of retirement in January to fill in for Darren Fletcher who was ruled out for the rest of the campaign with ulcerative colitis.

But he may have to look elsewhere if Wenger is successful in his surprise pursuit of the Japan international who has scored nine goals in 29 games for his country.

The Frenchman has already signed Koln striker Lukas Podolski to partner captain Robin Van Persie next season and wants Kagawa to fill the creative hole in behind the duo and form a devastating attacking triumvirate.

He’s made no secret of his desire to play in England’s top-flight and with two of the league’s biggest sides battling for his services he has a difficult decision to make as to where he continues his career.