North London clubs face battle for in-demand defender

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Arsenal and Tottenham will have to battle it out with Italian giants Juventus for the signature of Jan Vertonghen after the Italian giants upped their interest in signing the Ajax defender, reports Tuttosport.


Vertonghen is expected to leave Ajax at the end of the summer after revealing he would not sign a new deal with the Eredivise outfit, while also speaking out in preference of a move to Tottenham and Arsenal earlier this season.


However Juventus are said to be keeping an eye on developments, according to Tuttosport, and could be hoping to hijack the deal after the 24-year-old caught the eye of the Serie A giants.


Ajax are widely expected to cash in on Vertonghen, one of their most prized assets and current club captain, in the summer.


The Belgian international’s current deal at the Amsterdam Arena expires in 2013 but with the player having already expressed his desire to leave the club, a bidding war is expected to break out for his services at the end of the season.


Vertonghen was seen at the Emirates Stadium watching Arsenal play in the Champions League against AC Milan recently, reportedly as a guest of Thomas Vermaelen, who is rumoured to be attempting to persuade his former club-mate to join the Gunners.


Tottenham have been long-term admirers of Vertonghen and are keen on adding the versatile defender to their line up in the summer, however they may struggle after the player himself admitted he would be happy to join Arsenal in the summer.


“Arsenal are a magnificent club and I hear a lot of good things about English football," Vertonghen said earlier this month.


'If a club of Arsenal's calibre can reach agreement with Ajax, then I will gladly go over.”


Vertonghen’s team-mate at Ajax Toby Alderweireld previously insisted Tottenham would be a ‘nice club’ for him while the Ajax club captain described Spurs as ‘an amazing club’ last month.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Thomas Vermaelen
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