By Greg Stobart
Ajax star Jan Vertonghen has described Tottenham as an “amazing club” and spoken of his desire to play in the Premier League next season.
Goal.com understands Spurs are leading a host of English clubs in the race to sign Vertonghen and held talks with Ajax over a move for the £10 million-rated defender in January.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was in the stands to watch Vertonghen during Ajax’s Europa League clash against Manchester United on Thursday night - and the 24-year-old made it clear after the game that he would welcome a move to White Hart Lane.
“I think Tottenham are an amazing club and you see how well they are doing this season,”
Vertonghen told Goal.com. “They are in the top three in England and that’s where I want to play.
“I can’t say anything about whether there has been contact about a transfer but I think my game can be suited to English football.
“I love the atmosphere and it has the best players in the world, it breathes football. It’s one of my goals to play in the best leagues and against the best players.
“It’s the only competition I watch apart from Barcelona.”
Vertonghen, the Ajax captain, is also a target for Newcastle United and Arsenal while Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is a long-term admirer.
The versatile defender admits his international team-mates - including City captain Vincent Kompany and Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen - are constantly in his ear trying to influence his decision on his future.
“A lot of my colleagues from the national team play here and some are calling me to come,” Vertonghen added.
“It’s a beautiful competition, the best in my opinion. I hope one day I can play in the Premier League with this atmosphere.
“To play for a team in the Premier League would be amazing and that’s what I am going for.
“It’s flattering to be linked with clubs, the rumours give me confidence but I just try to do my best every game.”
One player who is unlikely to sway Vertonghen’s thoughts is Belgium team-mate Eden Hazard, the £30m-rated Lille star who is also a target for Tottenham.
Vertonghen admits it would be “nice” to play with Hazard but the two are not close friends as the Ajax man speaks Flemish and does not communicate with the winger in the same language.
“I read that Tottenham might sign Eden Hazard,” Vertonghen said. “It would be nice to play with him but he speaks a different language to me. He speaks French.”
While Vertonghen is almost certain to leave Ajax this summer, he believes another Premier League target, Christian Eriksen, should stay at the Amsterdam ArenA for another season.
The Dane has been linked with a number of leading European clubs including Manchester United but Vertonghen has urged the playmaker not to rush into a hasty exit.
“Maybe for Christian it’s better to stay one more year and he can learn something, be the leader in the field for Ajax one day,” Vertonghen added. “I hope he stays one more year at least.
“Christian is a clever guy and he will leave at the right moment.”