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Tottenham jump ahead of Chelsea in race for Southampton ace Shaw

By Greg Stobart

Tottenham have jumped ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign Luke Shaw - but Southampton will tell both clubs they have no chance of signing the youngster in January.

Spurs have already made big moves in their charm offensive with Shaw’s family and representatives, who have a strong relationship with chairman Daniel Levy.

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And people in Shaw’s camp are understood to be leaning towards a deal with Tottenham, who can offer a greater prospect of first-team football and the chance to follow the path of former Southampton man Gareth Bale.

Both Tottenham and Chelsea have registered their interest in Shaw and would be prepared to pay the asking price of £10 million-plus to land the England Under-21 defender.

Shaw, 18, is a lifelong Chelsea fan and from that perspective would favour a move to Stamford Bridge, where Ashley Cole has lost his place in the side in recent weeks and is out of contract at the end of the season.

Yet Shaw would need to be assured of Chelsea’s plans for his immediate role in the side and his progression at the club.

Spurs have a history of signing young British players and immediately integrating them in the side, while they have been used as a stepping stone to bigger moves by the likes of Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov, Luka Modric and Bale.

The north Londoners could again make a move for Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao in January, with manager Andre Villas-Boas a huge fan of the Portuguese, but Shaw would command lesser wages and better suits their transfer strategy.

Shaw signed a new five-year contract with Southampton after turning 18 in July and has stated he is no rush to move clubs, especially with Mauricio Pochettino’s side flying high in the Premier League table.

Neither the club nor the player have any interest in a deal in the winter transfer window, but Southampton are braced for major offers at the end of the season.

Shaw’s priority is to play regularly for a team competing for titles and competing in the Champions League.

He made 28 appearances for Southampton last season and has played 10 league games so far this term, although he was forced to withdraw at half-time in Saturday’s defeat to Arsenal with a thigh injury.

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