Arsenal have added promising Ajax defender Joel Veltman to their list of summer transfer targets and will bid to stop Tottenham Hotspur completing a deal for the Dutch international at the end of the season, according to The Telegraph.
Veltman has been watched extensive by Tottenham scouts this season and produced the kind of impressive displays that produce glowing reports back to Spurs chiefs, providing an assured presence in central defence beyond his 22 years.
Tottenham and Arsenal both have previous experience of signing star defenders from Ajax and are set for a fierce transfer fight when the campaign closes, as both teams look to replace unsettled defensive stars.
Arsenal look likely to let captain Thomas Vermaelen move on elsewhere after a frustrating campaign for the Belgian international, who has failed to dislodge first-choice central defensive partnership Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
Spurs have their own problems in that department as they look to persuade Jan Vertonghen that his future still lies at White Hart Lane, despite the absence of Champions League football.
Veltman has already been capped by Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal and looks set to make the jump to a top European club this summer, although Ajax have so far neglected to put a valuation on their young defensive linchpin.
This summer's World Cup could provide a shop window to send Veltman's asking price soaring, but Arsenal have put the starlet high on their list of summer targets and will battle Spurs for his signature if Vermaelen does leave in search of regular first-team football.