Alan Hutton suggests Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen may reject a new deal with the club as he looks for an exit in the summer, via Football Insider.
Vertonghen was a firm favourite of Mauricio Pochettino, making more than 200 appearances under the Argentine, but his current contract is set to expire at the end of June and he has reportedly set his sights on a free transfer away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Speaking exclusively to football writer Dylan Childs, Hutton claimed he wants the Belgian to stay in north London for longer but feels he will not want to ward off any potential suitors in the coming weeks.
The Premier League announced earlier this month that clubs can offer extensions to out-of-contract players. Regardless, Hutton believes the Belgium international is likely to consider his options as a free agent.
The former Spurs player said: “It’s a really strange one, it’s difficult to think of – I’m trying to think from my perspective, if it was me. I mean how long are we talking, are we talking a month’s contract, are we talking three?
“It’s been a strange one for him throughout the season, it’s been well documented about wanting to leave, then he’s going to stay, then we don’t know what’s happening and time’s running out but I would want to keep him.”
“I think he’s got a lot of time left in his legs and it’s whether he wants to do that or not – he might not want to commit and then put people off so he might be one of the ones who is just willing to hold out and see where it takes him.”
The 33-year-old has been the subject of frequent transfer speculation in recent months and, although he has not ruled out staying with the Lilywhites, it seems likely that he will end his eight-year-spell with Spurs in the upcoming transfer window.
Undoubtedly, the veteran has been a loyal servant of the club ever since he moved to White Hart Lane in 2012, although he has struggled for consistency this season. Indeed, he is no longer a regular in Jose Mourinho’s starting lineup but he is unlikely to be short of admirers when the transfer market opens, due to the economic uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
As Vertonghen has failed to keep his status as a first-choice starter at the back, it seems quite likely that he will stall negotiations with Spurs for as long as possible, as he continues to examine all possibilities before the start of next season.
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