Arsenal have entered the race to sign Hamburg defender David Bates, according to TEAMtalk.
The Scot has stood out for the Bundesliga 2 side since moving to Germany in the summer after his contract with Rangers had expired.
Having impressed for the second-tier high-flyers, the 22-year-old is reported to have attracted interest from Bayern Munich.
But it is now understood the Gunners lead the race for his signature, while fellow Premier League clubs Everton, Leicester, Watford and Southampton have all been to watch the 6ft 4in centre-back.
Unai Emery is slowly rebuilding the north London outfit and, despite adding Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos to his squad in the summer, is keen on bolstering his defensive ranks further.
Bates, who is a Scotland Under-21 international, made a combined 70 appearances in his home country for Raith Rovers, East Stirlingshire, Brechin City and Rangers.
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