Arsenal and Tottenham to battle for Dutch defender

Arsenal are set to battle Tottenham Hotspur for the signature of Ajax defender Joel Veltman, Telegraph reports.

The Gunners are likely to lose Thomas Vermaelen during the summer and see the Dutchman as the perfect replacement.

Veltman is also a priority for Tottenham amidst fears of losing Jan Vertonghen to a Champions League side.

Holland manager Louis van Gaal awarded the 22-year-old his first international cup last November, and has been targeting by a host of elite European clubs.

Last time the two London sides tried to sign an Ajax player, Spurs came out on top by bringing Jan Vertonghen to White Hart Lane two years ago.

However it is likely Vertonghen will depart in the coming transfer window with the London side again unable to qualify for the Champions League.

In Vermaelen’s case, the Belgian joined Arsenal – from Ajax as well – in 2009, going on to captain the side.

But this season the 28-year-old has been hit by consistent injuries, where he has fallen down the pecking order behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Arsenal themselves would love to secure the final Champions League spot with a win over West Bromwich Albion this weekend.


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