Italian giants Roma identify Jan Vertonghen as Chris Smalling alternative
The Manchester United defender who is on loan at the Stadio Olimpico, has proven to be a vital cog in the Italians rise up the Serie A table. Roma’s efforts to sign him up permanently have hit a snag, forcing them to look elsewhere.
The 33-year-old Spurs star is out of contract this summer. As of yet, he has not signed an extension and looks likely to end his stay in North London.
Interest from Italy is high with Inter Milan also keen on the Belgian. Having joined from Ajax in 2012, Vertonghen has gone on to play 311 times for Tottenham.
The veteran defender is aware of his stature as a free agent in the upcoming window. With clubs reeling under the financial crisis, demand for Bosman signings could be higher than ever before.
Tottenham have the option to extend the defender’s contract until the end of the season. However, such a scenario can only come to fruition given the player’s approval.
Vertonghen seems keen to leverage his position as a free agent to get the deal that suits him. Given the number of excellent seasons he has put in for us, it won’t be fair to begrudge him for choosing to do what suits him best.
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At 33, he is not going to be a long-term option for us. He has already regressed this season, with his lack of pace a serious concern.
Spurs will do well to extend his contract until the end of the season. With the defence an area that needs restructuring, bringing in a long-term younger option will suit us better.