The Tottenham boss insists that the unsettled defender is happy at Tottenham, despite their lack of Champions League football.
Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has warned off clubs interested in defender Jan Vertonghen by insisting the defender is “happy” at White Hart Lane.
In his press conference ahead of Spurs’ game against Asteras Tripolis, manager Mauricio Pochettino told the Daily Express:
“I never hear from Jan [that] he wants to leave or change something. Outside of that, it is impossible to trust in other people than him. For me, the important thing is that when we had a chat inside my office Jan never told me he wants to leave.”
Vertonghen’s contract expires in the summer of 2018, and he has so far refused to sign a new deal. Earlier in the season Pochettino denied that the ongoing dispute had anything to do with his decision to assign Younes Kaboul the captaincy, despite Vertonghen being favourite to take up the role following Michael Dawson’s departure.
Pochettino has now had to deny that the breakdown in talks has anything to do with the defender’s desire to leave:
“His contract talks don’t affect the situation. He has four years on his contract anyway. It’s a very long contract and he is happy inside and we have a very good relationship.”
Vertonghen was linked with Barcelona in the summer, but they eventually turned to his Belgium international teammate Thomas Vermaelen. Both Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked to Vertonghen in the past, and both have been suffering dreadful defensive injury crises this season. Both clubs are reportedly determined to add cover in January. Despite being in and out of the team as of late, Vertonghen is universally recognised as a top defender, and his versatility and technical ablility are coveted by plenty of interested parties.