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Jan Vertonghen nearing new contract with Tottenham, but may leave club

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Mike Hewitt

Jan Vertonghen's agent says that they are close to signing a new contract with Tottenham Hotspur, but that doesn't secure his future at the club. If Spurs don't make the Champions League, the Belgian could leave in the summer, according to his agent.

"He is happy at Tottenham and wants to play for the club. He wants to play Champions League football with Tottenham and he has a very good feeling about the new manager," his agent said.

That all sounds good. He is happy at White Hart Lane again and likes Mauricio Pochettino. That's much better than a year ago, when he was clearly unhappy and rightly thought Tim Sherwood was a disaster. But he still, understandably, wants to play in the Champions League.

"Playing at the highest level is, of course, very important for Jan. If Tottenham do not qualify for the Champions League this year then we will have to see what happens next summer."

Vertonghen has played in the Champions League before, but it was with Ajax. It wasn't with a contender, or even a team that could have a chance in hell of winning a single knockout tie, assuming they made it that far (they didn't).

At 27 years old, Vertonghen is running out of time to play for a good Champions League side. If he doesn't make a move next summer, he may never get to make the move and would have to depend on Spurs qualifying to get his chance. Clubs have Barcelona have been interested in the Belgian, so dreaming of better is hardly unrealistic

For now, Vertonghen is a Spurs player and, ideally, he will help the team make the Champions League. If not, he will probably leave and, partly thanks to his new contract, it will come with a hefty fee.