Long term Newcastle United target Jan Vertonghen could be sold in the summer, according to his manager Frank de Boer.
With Newcastle reportedly chasing a high quality central defender in the summer, and with Vertonghen near the top of the list, could the Belgian international be set for a summer move to St James’ Park?
It all depends on his contract situation. While de Boer admits that he would like to keep that player at Ajax, he also concedes that he could be forced to lose his star defender should the two parties fail to agree a deal rather than risk losing him on a free transfer or a pre-contract agreement for the summer of 2013.
“We know that his contract expires in 2013, so it’s either renew or relocate to a good foreign club, where Ajax would also benefit from a transfer fee,” de Boer told Eredivisie Live – the official website of the Dutch League.
“We already told Jan last year in Turkey that we are keen to hold on to him. We will open talks early in March to discuss a new deal.”
Vertonghen is a versatile player who can play at left-back or in the defensive midfield position when needed although he is primarily a centre-back. At 24 he fits into our transfer policy and he would be available for less than the £10m Ajax wanted for him not so long back.
Sounds a bit like Erik Pieters doesn’t it?
After the signing of Papiss Demba Cisse our need for attacking options has subsided somewhat. Of course he is away at the ACoN at the moment, but it’s only for a few more weeks potentially and then we’ll have both him and Ba in attack.
That means that we can shift our focus to the defence, which the club seems to be doing with the reported interest in Adrian Mariappa. Someone like a Vertonghen or Pieters would be several streets, or maybe even a whole A-Z, better than Mariappa so is it worth waiting until the summer or do we bring some backup in now in event of an injury to either Fabricio Coloccini or Mike Williamson?
Of course the other option is to bring in a top centre-back now, but I honestly can’t see that happening at this stage in the transfer window although I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised. I just think that we’re getting to the point now where if a club wants a top player from another club they’ll have to pay well over the odds, and NUFC won’t do that.
So Vertonghen in the summer? Perhaps. I’ve no doubt that the club are on top of things in the transfer market as, and I really can’t believe I’m going to say this, they’ve earned my trust in the transfer market. Whoever we bring in stands a good chance of succeeding so I’m just going to sit back and wait and see what happens.
Howay the lads!