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Hunger is back at Barca


Vertonghen close to Spurs move

Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen is close to joining Tottenham in the coming days, in a deal that could reach around £10 million.

• Blog: Here come the summer transfers

Vertonghen, 23, has been attracting the interest of clubs in the Premier League but reportedly shunned the advances of Arsenal to move to their North London rivals.

However, the Belgian defender reacted to reports that he had already confirmed a move to join Harry Redknapp's team ahead of his country's friendly game with England on Saturday by tweeting: "Don't believe everything the press writes. Nothing is confirmed. Still player of #Ajax".

Vertonghen, though, has previously stated his preference to join Tottenham and the defender says that move now looks close to completion.

"I am a big fan of the Premier League,'' he told a news conference. "It is almost the only competition I watch on TV and for me it is the best competition in the world.

"I would like to play in the Premier League. I am not in contact every day but I think it could be very close now, maybe a couple of weeks or maybe days.''

Asked if he knew what club he wanted to join, he said: "I probably know which team I will be going to, yes. I know where I want to go and I think it is clear to everybody.''

When probed as to whether that club is Tottenham, he nodded and said: "Yes.''

Vertonghen seemed taken aback by the amount of interest in his future, especially when news of his impending move broke on televisions in the press conference room.

The defender, though, continued to answer questions in flawless English and insisted that the fact White Hart Lane will not play host Champions League football next season is not a major issue.

"It is not that big a problem,'' Vertonghen said. "It would be nice but I chose for the club not just one season. For me it is important the connection with the club. They give me a very good feeling about everything.

"They invited me over and they also really want to close a deal, which is what gave me a good feeling. They showed me everything about where they want to be in the next few years and that is what I like most."


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