Arsenal and Tottenham are keeping tabs on Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama as the Kenyan hesitates to sign new five-year deal, according to The Sun.
The 24-year-old is a key man for the Saints and Ronald Koeman is reportedly eager to tie him down on a long-term contract at St Mary’s.
Wanyama, however, is reluctant to commit his future to the club until the summer, which has pricked up the ears of Arsenal and Tottenham as they maintain their interest in the powerful anchor man.
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The Kenya international, who handed in a transfer request at the end of last season after Spurs expressed a desire to sign him, is contracted to Southampton until 2017.
His employers will want to avoid letting him enter the final 12 months of his deal when he could leave for a cut-price fee or, worse yet, nothing at all.
WHO CAN REPLACE HIM?
The Saints currently possess no readymade successor in Wanyama’s defensive midfield position, which will likely force them into signing a replacement should the African eventually move on.
Koeman does have Oriol Romeu on the books, but whilst the Spaniard has a keen eye for a pass and is reasonably effective at breaking up play, he lacks the raw power and defensive discipline of the first-choice anchor man.
HOW WOULD HE FIT IN?
Arsenal and Tottenham have both been on the lookout for a player of Wanyama's ability for a while now as fans call for a tackling specialist to complement the creative quality in their respective midfields.
The Gunners’ Francis Coquelin has emerged a crucial player for Arsene Wenger, but with Mathieu Flamini nearing his 32nd birthday and Aaron Ramsey preferring to play a more attacking role, the Kenyan appears the ideal candidate to form a classy duo with the Frenchman.
On the other hand, Dele Alli’s impressive form could tempt Spurs to allow him more freedom in advanced positions by signing a high quality defensive midfielder.
Whereas neither Eric Dier or Ryan Mason classify as natural holding players, Wanyama is the ideal man to provide greater cover in front of defence.