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Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen is set to be part of a north London transfer tussle next month with Tottenham and Arsenal both keen on acquiring his services.

The 24-year-old has long been admired by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger but has previously been unavailable, forcing the Champions League hopefuls to look elsewhere.

That has opened the door to Spurs who are preparing a £10million bid for the Belgian international to bolster a defensive unit that all too often is ravaged by injury.

The arrival of Vertonghen will almost certainly push Sebastien Bassong out of the White Hart Lane door, leaving fitness doubts Ledley King, Michael Dawson and William Gallas, as well as Younes Kaboul, the club’s only senior central defenders.

Vertonghen came through the ranks at Ajax having joined its famous academy as a 16-year-old. He was made captain this season but doubts remain over whether he will extend his current contract beyond 2013.

Spurs officials are understood to have held initial talks with the Dutch outfit, while they have in turn sounded out Inter Milan’s Romanian defender Christian Chivu as a replacement, according to the Metro.

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