If rumors are to be believed, North London-based Premiership heavyweights Arsenal and fellow league rivals Newcastle United are preparing a hefty summer bid to lure away Dutch Eredivisie side Ajax's Belgian defender and skipper Jan Vertonghen when the transfer window opens.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is hoping to maintain the team's good run of form going into the next season and is aware that a powerful backline is important if the team aims to challenge for the title. The Frenchman is quite certain that the Premier League and the additional Champions League spot will help the team secure the services of the Belgian international at the end of the season.

Newcastle, on the other hand, are also interested in bringing Vertonghen, 24, to the St James' Park. The Magpies under Alan Pardew have turned out to be one of the most formidable sides in the Premier League to challenge for the coveted fourth place which is also being challenged by Chelsea and Tottenham, and knows that a dependable defense expert can help them challenge further in the next season.

Vertonghen, who has been previously linked with the Gunners, can be efficiently played at centre back as a defensive midfielder and this characteristic is said to have interested Arsene Wenger who is also said to be lining up a bid somewhere around $16 million (£10 million) for the player who has just over a year to run on his current contract. The deal, if successful, will see Vertonghen teaming up with his former defensive partner at Ajax and countryman Thomas Vermaelen.

However, both the sides could be disappointed as, according to a previous Daily Mail report, though Vertongnhen had passed definite instructions to his agent about the choice of clubs he would like to play for and Arsenal is one of them, he has also stated that he has not decided on his next move and wants to honor his contract while he is still at Ajax.

Apart from Newcastle and Arsenal, Vertonghen has also attracted attention from Tottenham, according to a Tribal Sport report.

Vertonghen has made as many as 212 appearances for Ajax in all competitions and has also managed to score 25 times. He has also made 36 appearances for Belgium.