Arsenal and Tottenham fighting for Veltman

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will fight it out to sign Ajax defender Joel Veltman, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

The Gunners previously signed Thomas Vermaelen from the Amsterdam club, while Jan Vertonghen left Ajax for Spurs, and the pursuit of Veltman is related to both players. Arsenal want to replace their Belgium international defender while Tottenham fear Vertonghen will look to leave White Hart Lane this summer in search of Champions League football.

Veltman broke into the Netherlands international team earlier this season, having made his Ajax debut in 2012. The 22-year-old has won two Dutch titles in his fledgling career, part of Ajax’s historic sequence of four in a row.

The Telegraph adds that Spurs and Arsenal competed for the signature of Vertonghen in 2012 with Tottenham winning out on that occasion. He has gone on to make 82 appearances for the Lilywhites.

Vermaelen meanwhile left Ajax in 2009 and was a regular in his first few seasons with the club despite an injury-hit time. But he has lost his place to the partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, playing a reduced role this season.

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