Mats Hummels
Manchester United have cooled down their interest in HummelsReuters

Arsenal have been handed a big boost in their pursuit of Mats Hummels after Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal reportedly pulled out of the race to sign the German defender.

Although the Borussia Dortmund centre-back had been linked with a move to both Manchester United and Arsenal, the Red Devils were being considered the favourites to sign the German in January due to their financial muscle.

However, the Daily Star claims that Manchester United are no longer interested in signing Hummels, diverting their attention towards Zenit Saint Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay instead.

This means that the Gunners are now in pole position to secure the German's signature in January. Although Dortmund were reluctant to part with their defender, initially, it is now understood that they are willing to listen to offers in the region of £32m for Hummels.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is keen to reinforce his defence in January, has reportedly made Hummels his number one priority in the winter transfer window.

The 25-year-old defender, who joined Dortmund from Bayern Munich for a transfer fee of €4 million in the summer of 2009, has made 146 Bundesliga for the Die Borusse, scoring 14 goals.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are also reportedly looking to beat the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid to the signature of Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, according to the Express.

The 30-year-old right back, who moved from Lazio to Juventus in the summer of 2011 for a transfer fee of around €10 million, is currently in the last year of his contract with the Old Lady.

Although the Swiss would be available on a free transfer next summer, Wenger is thought to be interested in securing his services for a low price in January to avoid competition from other clubs.

The deal may be possible as the Old Lady would also be more interested in selling the right-back for some transfer fee in January rather than see him leave on a free transfer next summer.

Elsewhere, the Gunners have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette after the France forward expressed his desire of finishing his playing career at his current Lyon.

"Personally, it would not bother me to spend my career at Lyon," said Lacazette, according to the Express.