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Transfer Rumours

United eye Spurs man

Tottenham-Hotspur-v-Nottingham-Forest-Capital-One-Cup-Third-RoundManchester United could be set to bid for Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen in January, as Louis Van Gaal aims to solve his team’s defensive crisis.

The Belgian international is growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities at White Hart Lane and Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino is said to be unimpressed with Vertonghen’s attitude and omitted him from the starting XI for Spurs’ 2-1 defeat against Stoke before the international break.

According to the Daily Mirror, United are considering a January offer for Vertonghen, who still has over three years on his contract, as Van Gaal looks to bolster his defensive options.

With Jonny Evans, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones still not back to full fitness, United’s gaping hole at centre-back has grown even bigger, with only youngsters Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair available alongside error-prone Chris Smalling. Vertonghen would be a good signing, given he’s tactically versatile – he can play at centre-back as well as left-back – and has Premier League experience, having played 64 league games for Spurs in his two seasons at the club.

The problem, as usual when it comes to deal with the North London club, is Daniel Levy. The Spurs’ chairman is thought to be unlikely to part ways with the Belgian for less than £18m, a position strengthen by the knowledge that Vertonghen’s contract is not due to expire any time soon and that United are desperate for a top defender.

The Belgian flourished at Ajax under Ronald de Boer, who’s one Van Gaal’s closest advisors, and joined Spurs in July 2012 but fell out with manager Tim Sherwood last season when he was asked to play out of position.