Transfer news: Arsenal enter race with Tottenham for 18-year-old Alvaro Vadillo - the 'new Cristiano Ronaldo'

Attacking left midfielder had been identified as a long-term replacement for Gareth Bale but the Gunners hope to beat Spurs to his signing

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The Independent Football

Arsenal have entered the race for the “new Cristiano Ronaldo” as they attempt to beat rivals Tottenham to the signing of Alvaro Vadillo.

The 18-year-old is the youngest player to have ever started a match in La Liga when he made his league debut in August 2011, at the youthful ager of 16 years, 11 months and 16 days.

He has gone on to be scouted by Europe’s biggest clubs after he drew comparisons to Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, with fans and analysts suggesting he has a similar poise on the ball, his fondness for attack and his dribbling ability on the left flank.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is under considerable pressure from fans due to the lack of new arrivals at the Emirates, and he has identified Vadillo to fit the bill for what he is looking for in midfield.

Having released Andrey Arshavin after his contract expired and allowing Gervinho to speak with Roma over a likely transfer, Arsenal are without a natural attacking left midfielder having deployed forward Lukas Podolski in the position for the majority of last season.

Spurs are also keen on the youngster though having identified the 18-year-old as a long-term replacement for Gareth Bale, who looks destined to move to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee.

The money generated from the sale – as much as £100m – is likely to fund Spurs attempt to sign Vadillo, having spent £26m of Roberto Soldado after they confirmed the deal today. This adds to their previous signings of Paulinho and Nacer Chadli, who cost a combined £24m.

Spurs also remain keen on signing Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as part of the Bale deal, although Madrid are adament that they want to hold on to the youngster, who has been identified as a star in the making by the Spanish club.

Manchester United were reported to have had a £2.5m offer for Vadillo rejected in October 2011, as they were told by his manager Pepe Mel he will be worth much more than that in the future.