Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Vertonghen plays down Barca link

Jan Vertonghen says that he does not want to leave Tottenham
Jan Vertonghen says that he does not want to leave Tottenham

Jan Vertonghen says there is no truth in rumours he wanted to leave Tottenham to join Barcelona and confirmed he has been offered a new five-year deal to stay at White Hart Lane.

Vertonghen, who moved to Spurs from Ajax in July 2012, has become a regular feature in Tottenham's back four, playing left-back and centre-back over the past two seasons.

The Belgium defender's agent suggested several clubs were interested in the 27-year-old, including Barcelona, whose influential centre-back Carles Puyol retired this summer.

"Rumours will always be there, but I just go back to Tottenham," Vertonghen told Belgian talk show Vive le Velo.

"Interest from a great club like FC Barcelona pleases me of course - this is confirmation that you're doing well.

"Where there's smoke, there's fire, they say, but for the moment there is certainly no fire."

New boss Mauricio Pochettino has already bolstered his back line with the signings of Ben Davies and Michel Vorm while first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has penned a new five-year contract.

Vertonghen, who has not yet returned to pre-season training following his exploits at this summer's World Cup, is also set to commit his future to Tottenham.

"I still had a four-year contract but I see that they have offered me a new five-year contract as a great sign of confidence," Vertonghen told Belgian broadcaster Radio 1.

"It goes without saying that I would like to stay at Tottenham."

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