Arsenal and Spurs battle for top young English defender

The Sporting Lisbon based Under-21 star helped his side to 2nd place in Portuguese top flight this year.

Eric Dier is developing into one of the country's most promising defenders, all without playing a minute of club football in England.

Only 20, Dier was part of a Sporting Lisbon squad that surprised the whole of Portugal by beating last season's champions Porto into third spot in the league.

Such an impressive performance ensured Champions League football next year, and also ended a five year spell where the Lions were struggling to disrupt the domination of Porto and Benfica at the  Primeira Liga summit.

Dier is just one of a group of talented youngsters to emerge from the Sporting academy, but as an English footballer developed outside of Britain, it isn't surprising to see reports that he is being chased by some of the Premier League's top sides.

The centre back spent 6 months on loan at Everton in 2011 to sample English football, but at 17, failed to make any senior appearances.

Both Arsenal and Tottenham have been credited with an interest in a player that has been at Sporting for a decade.

Now with four caps for the English Under-21 side, the Express reports that Dier is under contract for two more years in Lisbon, and it is now up the two London clubs, as well as other suitors such as Stoke City and Zenit Saint Petersburg, to tempt him into a switch.

Dier is currently participating in the Toulon tournament with Gareth Southgate's England Under-20 side, and featured in the team's 3-0 win over Qatar on Thursday.

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