Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has explained why he hasn’t signed a new contract with the North London club.
The Belgian defender was tipped for a new deal at the start of the season, but talks broke down with the player confirming that he and the club had agreed not to discuss the matter further.
Now he’s away with the Belgian national side, he was prompted to answer a question over the matter by Belgian newspaper HLN.
“I can only say that the decision was taken in consultation with the club. Sportingly, the beginning of the season was volatile. A good start was followed by a decline and now it's running a little better,” said Vertonghen.
Spurs have already been forced to juggle their squad against a high number of fixtures, but they ended a post-Europa League blip with a victory against Southampton last weekend.
That’s put Spurs in sixth place with three wins, two draws, two defeats, nine goals for and seven against so far this season.
Vertonghen is a key player for the club and will be integral to any chances they have of making the top four by the end of the campaign, with the ultimate goal to qualify for the Champions League.
His current deal doesn’t expire until the end of next season, which slightly removes the time pressure over Spurs to sort out a new deal.
Hopefully Tottenham can now generate a positive run of results after the international break, which will allow them the luxury of re-entering negotiations with Vertonghen as they seek to keep him at the club and retain him in the spine of Pochettino’s team.