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The Belgium international has also attracted the attentions of Arsenal in recent months, and Spurs have swooped after having tracked the defender extensively

By Greg Stobart

Tottenham have made an official approach for Ajax star Jan Vertonghen and are now battling rivals Arsenal for the defender’s signature.

De Telegraaf reports that the Belgian’s agent Mustapha Nakhli has confirmed that talks have started over a £7 million deal to take Vertonghen to White Hart Lane.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy made his move this week amid fears that Arsenal had taken the lead in the race for the highly rated defender, who has a year left on his contract and is certain to leave the Dutch club this summer.

The 25-year-old is a long-term target for Spurs manager Harry Redknapp and the Londoners tried to sign him in January before being told the Ajax captain would not be leaving the Amsterdam ArenA until the end of the season.

Vertonghen has also been targeted by Newcastle and is believed to consider Champions League football and a regular starting spot as his two major concerns in deciding his future.

"Jan does have a few dream clubs, which are very special to him. To play in the top of the Premier League is something he always hoped for," Nakhli told De Telegraaf.

Tottenham are eager to bolster their defence this summer and have made Vertonghen their top target as they look for long-term replacements for Ledley King and William Gallas. The player's age, transfer fee and wages fit into the profile the Londoners look for in potential signings and he has been scouted in person at least twice by Redknapp.

The versatile defender, who can also play at left-back and in midfield, told in February that he considers Tottenham an “amazing club” and has his heart set on playing in England.

“I think Tottenham are an amazing club and you see how well they are doing this season,” Vertonghen said.
19/20 Tottenham are 19/20 not to finish in the top four of the Premier League with sportingbet

“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.

“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.”

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