Tottenham are braced for bitter rivals Chelsea to bid for Toby Alderweireld, according to The Sun.
The £45million-rated Belgium centre-back is wanted at Stamford Bridge in a summer move after failing to agree a new deal at Spurs.
And the two clubs must put aside years of bad blood, which started when Frank Arnesen left White Hart Lane in 2005, to get a deal done.
Alderweireld, 29, is firmly on the radar at Stamford Bridge despite the history meaning the rivals rarely do business.
The ex-Atletico Madrid star only has a season left on his deal at Spurs.
Alderweireld is still regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and viewed as a bargain at his price.
Manchester City were tracking him before moving for Aymeric Laporte in January – and Manchester United have looked at him too.
But Chelsea will compete for him too and offer make him the cornerstone of their defence as they look to rebuild next season.
Alderweireld’s current deal, as revealed by Football Leaks, has a £25m release clause active for 14 days if Spurs activate a one-year extension option at the end of next season.
And that could leave Spurs with a dilemma over whether to try to get maximum value for him earlier.
Spurs are lining up a £45m swoop for Dutch teen sensation Matthijs de Ligt as a replacement.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino sees the Ajax centre-back, 18, as the long-term replacement for Alderweireld.
He has already played more than 50 times for the Amsterdam giants, and his fifth cap for the Netherlands senior team was 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 Tottenham for £42m last summer.