Jan Vertonghen will leave Tottenham this summer after his teammates paid emotional tributes to the long-serving Belgian.
Vertonghen has not been offered a new deal at Spurs and will leave the club after eight years service. Having joined from Ajax in 2012, Vertonghen made over 300 appearances and has been one of their most reliable stars.
Goalkeeper Michel Vorm is also departing at the end of his one-year contract, with the club set to confirm their exits on Monday.
Spurs players paid tribute to the pair on social media after the 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park. That point booked their place in next season’s Europa League.
Harry Kane said on Instagram: “Wish nothing but the best for @jvertonghen and @mvorm with whatever is next for them. Been a pleasure sharing a dressing room and playing with them both.”
Vertonghen’s Belgium teammate Toby Alderweireld said: “Sad to see these two amazing guys leaving the club. Both great players but even better persons. We shared countless moments that I’ll never forget. Wishing you all the best for your next steps. Keep in touch.”
Harry Winks added: “Gonna miss these two. Been a huge part of my career since I came through the academy both on and off the pitch. All the best in your next chapters boys.”
Jose Mourinho has been quizzed on Vertonghen’s future over the last few weeks. However, he chose not to comment out of respect for the 33-year-old.
He said on Friday: “I think [he’s been] eight years in the club and for me eight months, something like that. It’s for Jan to be the man to speak about his future. Not for me.”
Vertonghen joined Spurs in 2012 from Ajax and has been an integral part of the side. He was a key man in the successive Premier League title challenges and run to the Champions League final last season.
But he has fallen out of favour this season, first under Mauricio Pochettino. That was as his contract issue rumbled on throughout the summer transfer window. Since Mourinho took charge, he’s also played a minimal role.
He was open to the possibility of staying at north London, but his future now lies elsewhere. Vertonghen has previously spoken about the desire to move to a new country, with Spain and Italy possible destinations.
Mourinho happy to grab Europa League spot
Given that they had been outside the top six for more than half of the season, it’s an impressive achievement on Mourinho’s part.
And the Tottenham manager was keen to point out that they would be even higher in the table had they been with him all season.
“The season was crazy, since they played the Champions League final it has been up and down and really hard,” he said.
“We, in this group of matches managed to get results and to perform. Not today, it was not the best. But in this period we played well, get results and be solid to put ourselves in the position to get in the Europa League.
“From a personal point of view I’m happy because since I arrived we would be fourth which is good with all the problems we had.”