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Arsenal heading for showdown with local rivals over target Joel Veltman

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Arsenal and Tottenham are heading for a transfer showdown over young defender Joel Veltman, as both ready bids for a potential summer move.

According to the Mirror, Arsene Wenger is eyeing the 22-year-old as a possible replacement for Thomas Vermaelen if the Gunners club captain moves to Manchester United.

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However, the report also claims that Spurs are very keen on Veltman and have been tracking him for some time.

Defensive worries

The Ajax star is being seen as a possible replacement for Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul. Dawson is being linked with a move to beaten FA Cup finalists Hull City, while new manager Mauricio Pochettino and other club officials are concerned about Kaboul’s injury problems sidelining him for much of the past two seasons.

Arsenal are expected to make a number of deals this summer, as Wenger looks to build on the success of winning the FA Cup last season, while also replacing several players departing.

Wenger shopping spree

Bacary Sagna has agreed to join Manchester City on a free transfer after his deal expired, while the Arsenal boss is prepared to let Vermaelen leave after being relegated to back-up behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny some 18 months ago.

Veltman is a product of the famed Ajax youth system and made himself a regular in Frank de Boer’s title-winning side last season after first making his breakthrough in the 2012/13 Eredivisie season.

He is currently in Brazil as part of Louis van Gaal's Netherlands squad at the 2014 World Cup, but he has only made one brief substitute appearance for Oranje - the 5-1 thrashing of Spain in their opening fixture.

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Topics:
Ajax
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Arsenal
Football

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