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TOTTENHAM are lining up a £45million swoop for Dutch teen sensation Matthijs de Ligt.
De Ligt is the hottest young defensive prospect in European football.
Despite his tender years, he has already played more than 50 times for the Amsterdam giants.
He won his fifth cap for the Netherlands senior team in last month’s 1-0 friendly defeat at home to England.
Arsenal and Barcelona scouts have both watched De Ligt in action in recent months – although SunSport understands Barca’s interest has now cooled.
The Gunners are still keen but it appears their North London rivals are now the front-runners to land the youngster, who saw his pal Davinson Sanchez leave Ajax for Spurs for £42m last summer.
The Spurs squad also includes former Ajax favourites Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen so De Ligt would have no problems settling in should he join.
Sanchez’s fine start to his Premier League career has led to Alderweireld – regarded by many as the best central defender in the division – being frozen out by Pochettino.
The Belgian defender looks certain to be sold by Spurs this summer after failing to agree a new contract with the club.
Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with a move for the 28-year-old.
Tottenham have been scouring Europe for a new defender.
Swansea’s Alfie Mawson and Harry Maguire of Leicester have been linked with Spurs.
But Pochettino is not convinced by either and instead has turned his attention to De Ligt.