Aymeric Laporte
Arsenal were earlier believed to be leading the race to sign Aymeric Laporte (left) in JanuaryReuters

Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Aymeric Laporte, despite Arsenal also being interested in the Athletic Bilbao defender.

The Red Devils, who finally seem to be getting their act together after starting the 2014/15 season on a very poor note, are currently facing a defensive injury crisis, with many defenders including Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans currently on the sidelines.

Due to this reason, United boss Louis van Gaal is reportedly keen to bring in new defenders in January, with the Dutch boss reportedly keeping a close eye on a number of defenders including Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao, Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar, Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels and Porto's Bruno Martins Indi.

Now, according to the Express, the former Barcelona boss has turned his attention towards Laporte, who has been very impressive at the Basque country based club, despite the defender being linked with a move to Arsenal in January.

The Gunners, who themselves are facing a defensive crisis following the injuries of Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy, were earlier believed to be leading the race to sign the 20-year-old in January, with there being reports of the Gunners willing to meet the £34 million release-clause in the youngster's current contract.

However, Manchester United are now looking to beat the Gunners to the Frenchman's signature by offering the youngster a better wage package.

Meanwhile, Manchester United along with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool are on red alert following reports of Yohan Cabaye wanting to move back to the Premier League in January, according to the Express.

The 28-year-old midfielder, who was transferred from Newcastle United to Paris Saint-Germain for a transfer fee of around £19 million in January this year, is reportedly unhappy in the French capital due to him getting limited first team opportunities.

PSG may also be willing to cash in on the defender in January as they currently looking to balance their cheque books following their issues with UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations this summer.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who had two bids for the Frenchman rejected by Newcastle in 2013, will be looking to reignite their interest in the Cabaye as the Gunners are currently in need of new central midfielders.

However, the Gunners will certainly be getting stiff competition from Manchester United and Liverpool, who will both be looking to strengthen their squad in January after their poor start to the 2014/15 season.