It looks like the Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen could be joining Arsenal on a free transfer from next summer after talks between Spurs and Ajax have stalled.
The 25 years old defender has been playing for Ajax Amsterdam since 2003 for the youth team, and got to the first team in 2006. He also has 36 caps for his national team Belgium, in which he managed to score 2 goals. Jan Vertonghen has been a regular starting XI man for Ajax over the last five seasons, and now he’s caught the eye of big Premier League clubs.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur targeted the player, and Jan Vertonghen seemed closer to the Gunners until Daniel Levy flew to Holland for talks with Ajax.
Although Vertonghen has since said his first choice would be Tottenham, it seems that Spurs are not willing to pay the full price after they missed out on qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League, but if they stall too long and leave Vertonghen at Ajax, then Arsene Wenger must be favourites for next summer.
Ajax demands a €15million (£12.5m) fee, which seems a bit high for a 26 years old defender, but Arsenal certainly needs to strengthen their defense and Jan Vertonghen might be the right man for the job.
Jan Vertonghen said: “But Arsenal want me too. They remain a possibility if my Spurs move falls through, as Ajax are asking €15m for me. That is a lot of money for someone with just a year left on his contract.
“I’m sure Spurs won’t be able to pay that much after they missed out on the Champions League.
“Ajax want to get as much as they can for me, while Spurs want to pay as little as possible.
“I hope a deal can be done. But I won’t fight with Ajax, that is the last thing I’d want after so many good years with them.
“England is my preferred destination. But if needed I will see out my contract and leave on a free transfer next year.”
Jan Vertonghen’s arrival at Spurs is still in doubt, but it seems that Arsenal has the first chance to sign him if he leaves on a Bosman next summer. The real question is will he be able to face some of the world’s best strikers?