Tottenham are battling Arsenal for Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson.

The Times says Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has identified Johnson as a potential replacement for Mathieu Flamini, who will join AC Milan on a free transfer at the end of the season, but the England Under-21 player, who is valued at £12million, is proving a hot commodity.

Despite equalling the club's transfer record, £16.5million, when signing Luka Modric from Dynamo Zagreb, Juande Ramos, the Tottenham head coach, wants at least one more midfield player and has made inquiries about the availability of Johnson. Liverpool have held a tentative interest in Johnson, but Rafael Benitez, the manager, has his sights set on luring Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.