Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly set to go head-to-head for Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck.
According to the Independent, Louis van Gaal has told the English striker that he is free to leave the club as he does not feature in the manager's plans for the upcoming season.
This has alerted their north London rivals, who are planning a swoop for the striker before the end of the summer transfer window.
Even though Arsene Wenger confirmed that he will not be signing a striker, he might be tempted to make an offer for the Englishman, who can play either as an out-and-out striker, or on the left-wing, a position he has occupied for both club and country recently.
Moreover, with rumours surrounding Lukas Podolski's possible exit, the Gunners boss will look to bring in a replacement, as Olivier Giroud will be the only recognised striker in the Arsenal ranks.
Spurs, on the other hand, have been looking for a striker all summer long, and have been linked to the likes of Loic Remy and Wilfried Bony. And with Roberto Soldado's future remaining uncertain, it is likely that the White Hart Lane outfit will want to secure a replacement ahead of time.
The 23-year-old striker will be a good signing for either club, as he has proven himself to be a good team player at United. Despite playing out of his natural position, he scored nine goals in 25 league games for the Red Devils.
However, a Mirror report claims that van Gaal, who sanctioned the move, has instructed the player's representatives that Welbeck will not be allowed to leave for one of their direct Premier League rivals. Thereby, the manager has ruled out the top six clubs vying for a Champions League spot, along with United.
Meanwhile, the Dutchman has refused to divulge his conversation with the striker, claiming whatever was said will remain behind closed doors.
"The media were not in the room and I do not speak about that because that's private," van Gaal said, as quoted in the Independent.
"I know what I said to Danny and Danny knows exactly what I said to him.
"I assume that Danny Welbeck is not saying anything about our conversation and also in that conversation was (assistant manager) Ryan Giggs and he doesn't say (anything) either, and that is the way it should be," the former Netherlands boss added.
Welbeck, who has 18 months left on his current contract, is valued at £15m by the Old Trafford club.