Manchester United target Fabian Schar in action
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Manchester United face battle to land Basel star Fabian Schär

| 19.12.2013

Manchester United face a battle to land one of their preferred transfer targets in the New Year with Arsenal now being credited with an interest in Fabian Schär.

The Red Devils currently lie eighth in the Premier League table after a less than impressive start under David Moyes and with the Old Trafford outfit shipping 19 goals in 16 games so far, defensive reinforcements are on the manager’s agenda.

Swiss centre back Schär has attracted the attention of the Manchester United boss after a string of solid recent performances for both club and country.

The 21-year-old impressed in Basel’s Champions League win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic arguably past their best the Basel man fits the bill for what the champions need.

Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling, while performing well in spells, still have question marks over their heads regarding their ability to forge a defensive partnership strong enough to form the heart of United’s future defence.

Phil Jones, meanwhile, despite picking up many plaudits for his energetic display this season, is still being used as a utility man while Moyes figures out where best to deploy him.

As such, Schär is on the radar and would bring title-winning knowhow to the United squad, having helped Basel to a fourth straight crown last year.

What the Basel man boasts that no United centre half offers though, is goals.

Having only played five times for Switzerland, the defender has already bagged three strikes in addition to netting six times from 32 appearances for Basel.

However, while Manchester United are rightfully keen to acquire his services, the club’s current predicament could open the door for Arsenal, who have also been sending admiring glances toward the youngster.

United are currently priced at 20/1 to finish the season at the top of the Premier League table, with Arsenal 7/2 to achieve the feat, and with Champions League football looking beyond United at present, Schar could be tempted to shun Old Trafford in favour of the Emirates.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.