Arsenal and Chelsea track £10m defender
Published 00:10 02/07/11 By Oliver Holt - EXCLUSIVE
Central defender Scott Dann has emerged from the wreckage of Birmingham's relegation as one of the most sought-after transfer targets of the summer.
Although a £12million move to Stoke collapsed last week, Arsenal have since hardened their interest and new Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is also weighing up a move for him.
Villas-Boas is keen to recruit a centre-half before the start of the season and is studying tapes of Dann, Bolton's Gary Cahill and Jack Rodwell of Everton.
But it is Arsenal who are leading the chase for the commanding Dann, whose absence through injury in the second half of last season was a crucial factor in Birmingham's demise.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will embark on a major rebuilding strategy if Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both follow Gael Clichy out of the club.
Wenger is convinced that 6ft 5in Dann - a committed defender in the John Terry mould - will provide the consistency and composure at the back that Arsenal have been missing.
The Frenchman is also interested in Cahill and Blackburn's Chris Samba and will welcome back Thomas Vermaelen after injury but Dann, who is comfortable with both feet, is his first choice.
Dann is still only 24 and would cost Arsenal around £10m - considerably less than the £17m asking price for Cahill.
Wenger and his medical staff are, however, keen to satisfy themselves that he is fully recovered from the hamstring injury which ended his season before they make their move.
They have already been assured that Dann is now fully fit and was back in full training by mid-May.