Eric Dier
Eric Dier's performances for Sporting Lisbon and England youth teams have sparked interest from Premier League clubs.Reuters

Arsenal have entered the race alongside their rivals Tottenham Hotspur to secure a summer move for Sporting Lisbon defender Eric Dier, according to the Daily Express.

The report claims that both north London clubs along with Stoke City are interested in bringing the centre-back back to his birth country, with the lure of plying his trade in the Premier League.

Born in England, the 20-year-old shifted base to Portugal at a young age and joined Sporting's youth team. Rising through their ranks, Dier went on to sign a professional contract with the club in 2010 at a time when Manchester United were reportedly keen on adding him to the Old Trafford roster.

The youngster has risen steadily in stature featuring in England's youth teams from U18's to U21's. He was also part of the squad that participated in the U20 World Cup held in Turkey last year. Dier then broke into Gareth Southgate's U21 setup and is currently part of the squad competing in the ongoing Toulon Tournament in France.

Arsene Wenger has Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen vying for places at the heart of the Gunners' defence. However, the trio are nearing their 30's, which might prompt the Arsenal boss to look for upcoming defenders.

Dier, whose contract with the Portuguese capital outfit runs out in 2016, can also play as a defensive midfielder or at right back and might be pushed straight into first team action at the Emirates. Wenger's first choice right back Bacary Sagna, is reportedly on the verge of signing for Manchester City on a free transfer, as his contract expires next month.

The Express' report also claims that the interested Premier League sides could face competition from Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg, where former Tottenham and Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is currently presiding over the managerial seat.

Dier spent a short time on loan at Everton in 2011, which his current employers stated as 'an opportunity for him to grow in a competitive and more demanding environment.'

He made no first-team appearance with the Merseyside club but managed to break into Sporting's starting XI under former manager Jesualdo Ferreira, making 14 appearances in the Portuguese Primeira Liga during the 2012/13 campaign.

Meanwhile, Tottenham are reportedly moving forward in executing their transfer plans despite not having a permanent manager in place following Tim Sherwood's departure. Technical director Franco Baldini is said to be the man overseeing the responsibility of bringing in new faces.