Tottenham are ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for the highly coveted Everton youngster John Stones.

According to the Express, the 20-year-old defender is a wanted man. His breakthrough season with Everton in the previous campaign saw him getting a call-up to the senior England team. The defender was also involved with the national team during their World Cup preparatory camp in Portugal and the US.

Mauricio Pochettino is keen to overhaul the Spurs backline and wants to add the talented youngster to the squad. The White Hart Lane club have already had one bid knocked down earlier in the summer, but have returned with a better offer and hope to persuade Everton boss Roberto Martinez to part with the young defender.

However, the north London club will face a tough battle to sign Stones, as arch rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are also interested in acquiring the player's services.

The Gunners and the Blues are looking for backup options as their first choice pairings are already fixed. Arsenal are preparing for the likely departure of captain Thomas Vermaelen and Chelsea will want cover after David Luiz left to join Paris Saint-Germain.

It is claimed that the offer of first team football will give the former Southampton boss the edge in luring the youngster to Tottenham.

Stones joined Everton during the 2013 January transfer window from hometown club Barnsley and signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with the Merseyside club. The 2013-14 season saw him make his first team debut and he played an important role in helping the Toffees finish fifth in the league.

The Englishman's performances for his club also caught the attention of national team manager Roy Hodgson and he was named in the standby list for the World Cup. He made his debut for the Three Lions in a 3-0 friendly win against Peru just before the summer tournament in Brazil.