Jan still wants to be the man for Spurs
Jan Vertonghen’s agent insists his client’s move to Tottenham is still on despite the sacking of Harry Redknapp.
Spurs began talks with Ajax over the transfer of Vertonghen some weeks ago, but the two sides are still reported to be some way apart on their valuation of the 25-year-old defender.
This week’s sacking of Redknapp, who wanted to sign the player in January, raised doubts over whether the deal would go ahead, but Vertonghen’s agent Mustapha Nakhli insists the move is "very close".
"Nothing has changed at all. He is coming to Tottenham for the club and not for the manager," Nakhli said.
"Managers come and go. Of course Jan is sorry that Harry Redknapp is no longer there but he is going for the club.
"We have a good relationship with Daniel Levy. He wants the deal to happen and there is a good atmosphere (between us).
"I don’t know when it will happen but the deal is close, very close."
Two weeks ago after lauding the Premier League, Vertonghen was asked whether Tottenham was the club he wanted to join.
He said: "Yes. I know where I want to go and I think it is clear to everybody.
"I am a big fan of the Premier League. It is almost the only competition I watch on TV and for me it is the best competition in the world."
Redknapp’s three-and-a-half year reign at Tottenham came to an end in the early hours of Thursday morning when his sacking was announced by the club.
The news came as a shock to many considering Redknapp had steered the club from the bottom of the league to two top-four finishes, and a Champions League quarter-final, since taking over in October 2008.
His failure to secure another season of Champions League football after leading Arsenal by 10 points, and his public flirtation with the England job, seem to have led to the 65-year-old’s downfall.
Speculation over who will replace the former West Ham and Portsmouth boss has been rife since.
David Moyes, Roberto Martinez, Laurent Blanc and Andre Villas-Boas have all been mentioned as possible successors, and Spurs have vowed to take their time over a new appointment.
Moyes, who has forged a sterling reputation after a decade of over-achievement at Everton, yesterday refused to rule himself out of the running, but insisted he was content with life at Goodison Park.
"All I can say is that I have had no contact and if I had had any I would have told my chairman (Bill Kenwright)," Moyes told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"I hope to meet all my ambitions at Everton but you never know in this game."
Martinez’s love of attacking football may work in his favour, but some fans are sceptical whether he would be able to make the step up after three years battling against relegation with Wigan.
Villas-Boas is a free agent and has trophy-winning experience on his side – but his unsuccessful stint at Chelsea may rule him out, while Blanc has built a good reputation after rebuilding a France side that flopped at the 2010 World Cup.
Whoever does come in, they will have a number of problems to resolve – most notably securing the futures of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, who have been linked with moves away from the north London club all season.