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Ajax skipper eyes Spurs move

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 8 May 2012

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Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen said Tottenham are his ‘favourite’ club to join this summer.

The Belgium international said he trusts that the move will happen, but revealed that the Dutch club are demanding a significant transfer fee.

Vertonghen said he can walk away from the club for free in 2013, when his contract at the Amsterdam ArenA expires, so any stalling in negotiations is unnecessary.

“Tottenham are absolutely my favourite,” the defender told De Telegraaf.

“(But) the Ajax board are asking for a very big amount for a player whose contract is running out in year.

“I trust that both Tottenham and Ajax will put some water in the wine and they will soon reach an agreement.”

Vertonghen hopes that his departure will not become so drawn out that it affected his reputation with the Ajax supporters.

The 25-year-old said goalkeeper Maarten Stekeleburg’s move to Roma, which was not completed until August, was an example of how he is keen for his departure not to be mishandled.

“I owe much to Ajax, but I’ve always given my whole heart and soul to the club,” Vertonghen said.

“My appreciation for the club and the fans is great. It would be terrible if my farewell is marred or distorted because Ajax (are stubborn) with the asking price.

“Of course I want Ajax to gain financially, but the amount that Tottenham want to pay, I think – perhaps with a little extra – is very reasonable.

“Next year I can leave for free. I hope that this awareness is there, because a transfer lingering for weeks like Maarten Stekelenburg’s (to Roma) seems very harsh.

“He joined at the end of Roma’s preparation (for the new season). I want to be able to blend in with the other players at Spurs from the start (of pre-season training).”

Arsenal are also reportedly keen on the centre-back but Vertonghen pointed to Spurs’ transfer policy as a reason for preferring White Hart Lane over the Emirates Stadium.

“Tottenham is a fantastic football club that has the tradition I want,” he said.

“Ajax was the perfect club for me, but Spurs is already very close nearby. They buy young, eager, offensive-minded players.”

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