Spurs chase Ajax defender Vertonghen

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp wants to add Ajax centre-back Jan Vertonghen to his side’s ranks this summer but is facing competition from North London rivals Arsenal, the Guardian claim.

The newspaper add that a sum of £22m would be needed to tempt the Amsterdam club into selling their captain, and that German giants Bayern Munich are also in the frame for the highly-rated 24-year-old. Vertonghen is a Belgian international teammate of Arsenal’s former Ajax defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Spurs can already call upon a range of centre-backs, including captain Ledley King, Younes Kaboul, Ryan Nelsen, signed from Blackburn Rovers this season, William Gallas and Michael Dawson, although the latter pair have struggled with injuries this season. Vertonghen also offers versatility, as he is capable of playing in midfield as well as defence.

Capped 36 times by Belgium, the left-footed Vertonghen began his Ajax career in 2006, becoming the club’s vice-captain when Luis Suarez joined Liverpool in January 2011 and being promoted to captain following the departure of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to Serie A side Roma.

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