Could unhappy Spurs defender be on his way to Spain for £20m?

Barcelona pursuit of a new central defender has led them to Spurs' Jan Vertonghen, with a reported £20m move lined up in January.

Vertonghen, 26, has been a star for Tottenham ever since his £9.5m switch from Ajax in 2012, but his disgruntlement at playing left back for Spurs could force him away from White Hart Lane.

Vertonghen told the Daily Mail earlier in the month: 'Once there are injuries, I'm the first to fill in the gap. Sometimes it's better if you can play in only one position. Other players specialise on one position and they can completely concentrate. I can play at left-back and I can help the team at times. But everyone knows I am not a left-back.'

It seems Barcelona have become aware of Vertonghen's situation, and Catalan newspaper Sport suggest that Barca may be lining up a January move. Barca have needed defensive help for a while, but instead chose to add strikers and midfielders rather than address their problems in the centre of defence. Carles Puyol is nearing the end of his career and can't be relied upon consistently anymore, and Gerardo Martino is actively seeking defensive reinforcements.

Vertonghen's impressive displays for Spurs aren't the only thing that would attract Barcelona, as the Belgian international would be eligible for the Champions League and having come through the Ajax youth academy, he's a technically adept defender and would fit the mould of a Barcelona defender.

A £20m bid would certainly test Tottenham's resolve, whilst Spurs' interest in Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto and winger Cristian Tello could smooth over the deal should Martino offer one of them in part exchange. Spurs will want to keep hold of their star defender, but with Vertonghen reportedly unhappy at being played out of position, he may try to force a move to one of the biggest clubs in the world.

image: © StartAgain

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