Premier League • England

Tottenham threaten Arsenal plan to sign the new Vieira, with summer deal ‘more and more’ likely

Rennes midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu battling Dele Alli

Arsenal are the ‘hottest’ candidate to sign Lesley Ugochukwu who is viewed as the new Patrick Vieira, but Tottenham could yet torpedo their plans, per a report.

Vieira is the definition of a modern-day great in the Premier League era. The combative Frenchman anchored Arsenal’s midfield during their most successful period since the 1930s.

Vieira was a major factor in Arsenal breaking up Manchester United’s dominance in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Given his influence on the Gunners and English football in general, any player compared to the now Crystal Palace boss must be paid great attention.

Now, French outlet L’Equipe report Rennes sensation Lesley Ugochukwu is viewed by Arsenal as a ‘future Patrick Vieira’.

Ugochukwu – who only turned 18 today – already stands at 6ft 2in tall and has broken into Rennes’ first-team this season.

He has 13 Ligue 1 appearances to his name thus far and has become a regular at France Under-18s level.

L’Equipe state north London pair Arsenal and Tottenham have both taken note of the rising youngster.

Ugochukwu heading to north London this summer?

In their words, the two clubs have been ‘following Ugochukwu for several weeks’ and are both ‘more and more convinced’ a summer raid is the smart play.

It’s claimed Arsenal have the edge when described as the ‘hottest’ candidate to secure a deal.

However, Spurs cannot be discounted and will make their own case to the player too.

There is no indication in the piece as to what level of fee Rennes would command for Ugochukwu.

It’s also not stated whether Rennes are indeed open to selling. Though if the riches of the Premier League does come calling, Rennes may find it difficult to retain a player who is seemingly destined for big things.

Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly a keen admirer. The German giant have become synonymous with developing young stars on the rise. Notable recent examples include Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham.