Arsenal battle Spanish giants for Dutch star

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Arsenal are facing a summer battle with Barcelona and Real Madrid to sign Dutch defender Gregory van der Wiel.

The Ajax right back admitted a desire to join Arsenal in December, believing himself to be a suitable player for Arsene Wenger's side after talks with Robin van Persie.

"Of course it’s nice to read that Arsenal are interested. I consider myself a good fit for the Premier League.

"Robin van Persie has told me many good stories about the Premier League, Arsenal and Mr Wenger, maybe he can put in a good word for me."

The north London club failed to secure the player's services despite being linked with a move in January, and now the La Liga duo are courting the 22-year-old ahead of the World Cup.

"I know of the interest of Barca, but now I am only thinking about the World Cup. I will do a good job for Holland and then we'll see," Van der Wiel told Spanish daily Marca.

The paper claims that Pep Guardiola's side have already made contact with the Dutchman, although a move could be seen as a backwards step to serve as cover for Daniel Alves.

Jose Mourinho is chasing Maicon at Inter Milan, but is preparing a move for Van der Wiel should that move fail to materialise.

Wenger will be keeping a close eye on the full back during this summer's World Cup in South Africa, and could get involved in a bidding war once the tournament finishes in July.

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