Arsenal 'favourites' in £12m defender race - reports

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Arsenal are favourites to land defender Jan Vertonghen, according to reports.

The Ajax centre back has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates in the past, with Arsene Wenger a known admirer of the 24-year-old.

Clubs from Spain and Italy are also thought to be keen on the player, with a possible Valencia move rejected by the player in the summer. Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be interested.

However, reports in The Daily Express claim Arsenal are once again favourites to sign the Belgian international, with £12 million thought to be enough to secure Vertonghen's signature.

With former international teammate Thomas Vermaelen making the move from the Amsterdam Arena to the Gunners two years ago, the defender has a path to follow should he opt for the Barclays Premier League over the Eredivisie.

Wenger was tipped to make a move for the 35-cap international during the summer transfer window, but instead opted to bring German international Per Mertesacker to north London for an undisclosed fee in the region of £8 million.

A lack of depth in the position is seen an Achilles heel for Arsenal, although Laurent Koscielny has impressed many this season during Vermaelen's absence through injury.

Vertonghen is arguably a step-up in class from the former Lorient player though, and Arsenal could well spend again in the New Year after a summer splurge in August.

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