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Manchester United Transfer News: Reds Rumoured to Join Arne Maier Pursuit

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2018

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 19: Arne Maier of Hertha looks on during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and Borussia Dortmund at Olympiastadion on January 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly joined the hunt to sign Hertha Berlin youngster Arne Maier, who is said to already be a target for Barcelona and Premier League rivals Arsenal.

According to Sport1 (h/t Daily Star's Callum Vurley), the defensive midfield gem has been pinpointed by United as a potential new recruit, but Barcelona in particular could pose stiff competition.

Arsenal already have a strong German stable after adding Bernd Leno to the contingent of Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi, while former defender Per Mertesacker is now overseeing the club's academy.

Both United and Arsenal have made recent investment in the core of their midfields. The former followed up last summer's capture of Nemanja Matic by signing Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk this year, and the Gunners added Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira—both defensively inclined—in recent months.

Goal's Ronan Murphy recently posted a short profile of Maier, 19, who has already made two appearances for Germany's under-21 side:

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

Arne Maier - Hertha Berlin - 19, CM 🇩🇪- Like Toni Kroos, a Fritz Walter medalist as a teenager, and like Kroos, a ball-playing deep midfielder who builds the play with his clever forward passing. #HBSC https://t.co/06tHawhYiH

Yet to miss a minute of Hertha's Bundesliga campaign, the teenager is clearly highly thought of in the capital. Only Ondrej Duda has averaged more passes per game (45.3) per 90 minutes in the league this season than Maier (42.7), per WhoScored.com.

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Maier also boasts the highest pass completion of any Hertha midfielder to have started a game this season at 82.8 per cent, and he's one of three players averaging a team high of one completed dribble per game.

One obstacle for United is the fact Maier signed a new deal in Berlin in February, which runs until the summer of 2022. Germany were happy to celebrate the renewed loyalties of one of their fastest-rising assets:

Germany @DFB_Team_EN

"One of the revelations of the season" has extended his contract at @HerthaBSC_EN! 🔵⚪️ Congrats to 🇩🇪 U19s international Arne #Maier 👉 https://t.co/zouw0YtthE https://t.co/T4rcl1V06W

Maier has been at Hertha for 11 years and may appeal more to the home comforts and native speakers at the Emirates Stadium, although United pose the better prospect in terms of playing UEFA Champions League football.

That could change next season depending on how this league campaign shapes up, at which point Maier may have his pick of clubs if he continues to shine for his Bundesliga employers.

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