The north London side have been heavily fancied to sign the centre-back this month, but Gianluca di Marzio recently claimed that United had made a late approach for the player.
However, it still appears that the Gunners are leading the pursuit of the 22-year-old and a deal for his transfer could be finalised in the next 24 hours.
Mikel Arteta’s side have already matched Napoli’s bid of £23.4m plus £3.6m in add-ons and they have made an intriguing contract offer to the player.
Hence, they are leading the race to sign him ahead of Napoli, who need to sell Kalidou Koulibaly first to afford the deal while United are yet to offer a better financial package.
Arteta is eager to have a left-footed centre-back in the defence and that was the primary reason behind the signing of Pablo Mari from Flamengo in January, initially on loan.
However, the Spaniard picked up a serious knee injury after just three appearances and he looks set to miss the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign.
The Gunners are likely to apply for an application through the FA such that the defender is exempt from the 14-day quarantine period when he arrives in England.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com