Spurs hope Jan Vertonghen’s the man to convince Ajax ace Christian Eriksen to join them over Liverpool

Tottenham and Liverpool are set to fight it out for Ajax midfielder imageChristian Eriksen after it emerged the club are ready to sell their prize asset this summer.

Standard Sport can reveal that the Dutch club expect Eriksen to join an English team at the end of the season, following their decision to cash in on the 21-year-old Dane, who has refused to sign a new contract.

Ajax had planned to allow Eriksen to run down the final year of his contract but they will now listen to offers to ensure they receive some recompense for the attacking midfielder.

It is understood Liverpool and Spurs have sent scouts to watch Eriksen “almost every week”, according to a senior source at Ajax, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona no longer interested. The Gunners are thought to view Eriksen as a similar player to Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, both of whom prefer to play in the same advanced role behind the strikers.

Similarly, United’s purchase of Shinji Kagawa is thought to have ended their advances for Eriksen, who is the same type of player albeit younger.

That leaves the way clear for Spurs and Liverpool to act.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is thought to be confident of driving down Ajax’s £14million asking price to somewhere closer to £8m given Eriksen has just one year left on his current deal.

However, negotiations are yet to begin, with all parties happy to wait until the rest of the season safe in the knowledge Eriksen has now privately confirmed his intention to play in England.

A senior Ajax source said: “Christian wants to play in the Premier League and we think he will do well there. The club had discussed the option of keeping him until the end of his contract but it makes sense now to sell.

“Liverpool and Spurs are scouting him almost every week. Arsenal are no longer interested and Man United are not on the scene. The club will not let him go cheaply so there is a long way to go but it seems likely he will move to Tottenham or Liverpool.”

Ajax are seeking their third consecutive Dutch Eredivisie title and sit just two points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven after 25 games. Eriksen has scored six goals in 24 League games this season and has earned 31 caps for Denmark. Spurs are hopeful that Jan Vertonghen’s relationship with Eriksen could prove influential. The Belgian played alongside Eriksen last season and last December he claimed his former team-mate would be well suited to English football.

Vertonghen said: “Technically, he’s one of the best players I’ve played with. He can use his right foot and his left foot equally well.”

Spurs are desperate to replace the midfield creativity lost by Luka Modric’s departure to Real Madrid, while landing one of the highest-rated young players in Europe will be further ammunition in the battle to convince Gareth Bale to stay at White Hart Lane.

The club had been monitoring Willian before he agreed a £30m deal to join Anzhi Makhachkala, while Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas retains an interest in Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho but Eriksen remains the cheapest and most attainable option.

Source: London Evening Standard

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