Stoke City are desperately trying to tie defender Ryan Shawcross to a new a long-term deal to fend off interest from Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United.

The Potters have stepped up negotiations in recent weeks as Shawcross' deal has just over 18 months left to run.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is thought to have made Shawcross his number one target to replace Michael Dawson - who was expected to leave in the summer.

And should Dawson agree to leave White Hart Lane - either in January or at the end of the season - Shawcross would once again be top of Tottenham's list.

The 25-year-old has been a regular at the heart of Stoke's defence in recent seasons and was called up to the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland last month.

Manchester sold Shawcross to Stoke for an initial £1m in 2008, a decision Sir Alex Ferguson has since said he regrets, and the Red Devils are also believed to be monitoring the defender's situation.