Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly joined the race to sign Carles Alena as Barcelona delay on handing the starlet a new deal. Manchester United and Newcastle United had been linked with the Spanish midfielder in recent months, but AS reports that Mauricio Pochettino's side are now well placed to secure his services if the player finally decides to leave the Nou Camp.

Alena, 19, has progressed through the La Masia academy since joining aged eight and is currently considered as the next big thing to establish himself in the first team.

The talented midfielder made his senior debut under Luis Enrique during a 1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Hercules in November 2016, scoring the only goal for the Catalans.

The Under-19 international became a regular in first-team training sessions during the 2016-17 campaign, making three further appearances in La Liga while also helping Barcelona's B team to secure promotion to the second division of Spanish football.

However, his long-term future at the Nou Camp has been thrown into question with his current contract due to expire in the summer of 2018.

The Mirror reported in November that Manchester United were monitoring the situation, while recently The Sun claimed that Rafael Benitez was considering bringing him to Newcastle.

Barcelona are desperately trying to tie him down to a new deal, but AS now report that the Catalans face a new complication with Tottenham becoming the latest club to express interest in his services.

AS claims there are still more clubs monitoring the situation but that Spurs are among the "best-placed" suitors with Pochettino set to offer Alena an immediate place in the Tottenham first team if he opts to move to White Hart Lane.

Carles Aleña
Carles Alena is considered one of the jewels of the Barcelona academy Getty

Last summer Alena's agents, Carles Puyol and Ivan De la Pena, took Marc Bartra from Barcelona to Borussia Dortmund amid the defender's frustrations with a lack of playing time. Pochettino could have the advantage in a potential move for Alena as the current Tottenham boss played with De la Pena at Espanyol.

Last week, Barcelona lost Jordi Mboula to AS Monaco in similar circumstances after the Ligue 1 champions agreed to meet his €3m (£2.6m, $3.3m) release clause.

AS claims that 16-year-old Eric Garcia is also expected to join Manchester City this summer and Barcelona now fear that Pochettino could convince Alena to make the move to Tottenham.

The Spanish publication understands that Alena will make a final decision over whether to sign a new deal at Barcelona or move somewhere else in the coming days.