Are Jan Vertonghen’s days at Tottenham Hotspur numbered? The 32-year old Belgian center back has been a fixture in Spurs’ back line since he joined the club from Ajax in 2012, but this season in particular his game time has trailed off, as has the level of his performances when he’s on the pitch.
Now, Dan Kilpatrick in the Standard hints that he could be set to reunite with his former teammate Christian Eriksen at Inter Milan next season. Kilpatrick writes that representatives of the Nerazzuri may have already made contact with Vertonghen’s people to discuss a free transfer in June.
The links between Jan and Inter have been around since this fall, when Fabrizio Romano suggested Inter might be interested in October. Vertonghen’s contract expires this summer, and because of that he’s free to discuss a pre-contract with any interested club in Europe, and has been since January. There had been some talk that Tottenham were interested in extending his contract on a short term deal in the same way that they did with Toby Alderweireled this winter, but it hasn’t happened yet and with every day that goes by that option appears less likely.
Moving to Inter this summer could be a positive move for Jan at the end of his career. It’s a slower-paced league which means he might not struggle as much against pacy attackers as he has this season for Spurs. It would also probably mean a bump in salary as well as a chance to continue to play with Eriksen.
Jan has always been a faithful servant to Tottenham during his eight years in London, and it’s clear he loves the club. But it’s also clear that he’s not playing at the level that we’ve come to expect from him, and with the rise of Japhet Tanganga it’s feeling like it’s time for him to move on and close his career elsewhere. There’s not a whole lot to hang your hat on with this rumor — just some vague mentions of meetings between representatives — but honestly, it feels like something that would be extremely plausible in the summer. While it’d be sad to see Super Jan go, it really does feel like it’s time, doesn’t it?