Tottenham firmly believe that they are leading the race to sign Southampton left-back Luke Shaw but it appears they will have to spend heavily to convince Mauricio Pochettinoto sell the teenager.

Spurs believe that left-back is a position which still needs to be filled after allowing Benoit Assou-Ekotto to leave the club on a season long loan and failing to bring in a suitable replacement in the summer.

Danny Rose returned from his own loan spell at Sunderland but injuries have prevented him from making the position his own, leaving Jan Vertonghen to move out of the centre of defence to varying degrees of success.

The Belgian had helped Tottenham keep numerous clean sheets but struggled against Jesus Navas at the weekend as Manchester City secured an emphatic 6-0 victory.

Vertonghen has told his manager Andre Villas-Boas that he want to play more regularly in the centre and it seems the Spurs boss is now ready to pursue Shaw in a bid to solve his defensive problems.

The Daily Mail reports that Villas-Boas believes Shaw would choose Tottenham over Chelsea or Manchester United, but Southampton would demand a fee of at least £30m for the highly-rated youngster.

Shaw may be just 18 years of age but he is already a regular member of the Saints first team and has impressed while representing England at Under-21 level.

Southampton would certainly not want to lose one of their brightest young talents and would hope that their own superb start to the season would be enough to convince Shaw to stay.

However, it would be hard to turn down a massive offer especially if there are as many as three clubs bidding for his signature.

The Mail also reports that Shaw's representatives have a strong relationship with Tottenham as his agent also represents Erik Lamela who moved to White Hart Lane for a fee of close to £30m in the summer.