Tottenham open talks with Vertonghen successor linked with Prem trio


Tottenham Hotspur’s search for a long-term successor to Jan Vertonghen has seen them commence talks over the transfer of a €30m-rated Serie A defender, claims the Italian media.

Vertonghen has been at the heart of the Spurs defence since his arrival from Ajax in 2012, but at 33-years-of-age, appears set for a new challenge in the summer.

The Belgian centre-half’s contract at White Hart Lane expires at the end of June, and although the club are understood to wish for Vertonghen to stay, the player himself recently dropped a major hint that his future lays elsewhere.

His exit will necessitate a defensive arrival in the summer window, with Jose Mourinho persistently linked with swooping for a former Diego Simeone favourite.

However, Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) reveal that the club have their sights set on the much younger Hellas Verona star Marash Kumbulla.

The Italian-born Albania centre-half has become an integral part of Verona’s backline in a season that saw the newly-promoted side climb to an impressive eighth place prior to football’s hiatus.

Having made 18 Serie A appearances and displaying his undoubted talents, the 20-year-old attracted the attentions of a number of Premier League clubs.

Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man Utd all registered their interest, but it is Tottenham who have taken the first step by ‘reaching out’ to Verona to enquire over his availability.


The article reveals that a sum of around €30m would be required to convince Verona to sell, but notes that the player has attracted strong interest from within Italy also.

Inter Milan are described as being ‘very interested,’ as they search for a long-term option at the heart of Antonio Conte’s three central defender axis.

Meanwhile, bitter Tottenham rivals Arsenal could be set to lose a player who has shone this season after he revealed he could ’never say no’ to an offer to return to his boyhood club.