Jan Vertonghen Reveals He Rejected The Chance To Join Arsenal To Make Tottenham Switch

Belgian had choice of London rivals.

Tottenham centre-half Jan Vertonghen has revealed he rejected the chance to join Arsenal, despite chatting to Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp.

The Belgian centre-half joined Spurs for £8m from Ajax this summer, after a fabulous season in which he was named Eredivisie Player of the Year.

A number of other clubs including Arsenal and Newcastle were said to be tracking the 25-year-old and he revealed that a move to the Emirates was a legitimate option but he decided on Spurs, with Bergkamp, now a coach at Ajax, complimentary about both clubs.

“He knows Tottenham is a very big club. He’s a very good guy and I get along with him very well,” Vertonghen is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“He was very positive about both clubs and about London, and he just said ‘make your choice.’

“I chose Spurs because they gave me a good feeling. I spoke to Daniel Levy and I talked with Rafael van der Vaart.

“They invited me here and gave me the best feeling in the world. From that moment on I said to myself, ‘I want to play here’.

“Arsenal did try to sign me but I’d already made my decision that I wanted to play here.”

Vertonghen could have linked up with compatriot and fellow centre-half Thomas Vermaelen at Arsenal and his Belgium teammate told Vertonghen the north London rivalry would be a similar scenario to one he faced in the Netherlands.

“Thomas told me it was like Ajax and Feyenoord,” Vertonghen added. “They’re big rivals but when I walk down the street even the Arsenal fans have been very respectful.”

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