Three questions about Manchester United's £18m pursuit of Spurs star

Jan Vertonghen

According to the Daily Mirror, Manchester United want to sign Jan Vertonghen in January.

After starring in the 2012-13 season, Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was considered as one of the top defenders in the Premier League.

Yet whilst the former Ajax star is still a solid defender, his time at left back and the change of manager at White Hart Lane has thrown his future in to doubt.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Vertonghen is looking to leave North London, with the Belgian clearly not new boss Mauricio Pochettino's favourite player.

And The Daily Mirror report that Manchester United will look to strike a January deal to take the 27-year-old to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have had quite the defensive crisis this season, with Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Patrick McNair all spending time on the sidelines through injury or suspension.

Vertonghen could be an answer, but here are three questions over the reported interest.

Would Tottenham sell to Manchester United?

Spurs struck hard bargains to sell Luka Modric and Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, and chairman Daniel Levy is known to be a tough negotiator at the best of times.

Vertonghen was a target for Barcelona this summer but Tottenham refused to sell, and it may take some convincing for them to sell him to one of the Premier League rivals.

The Daily Mirror suggest that it would take a bid of at least £18m to tempt Levy into a sale, but even then he may not want to strengthen a direct competitor.

Is Vertonghen perfect for van Gaal?

This summer, Manchester United made bids for Arsenal's Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen, with van Gaal wanting his Ajax experience of playing out from the back to Old Trafford.

Well, Vertonghen brings many of the same attributes - and the boost is that he's far less injury prone, younger and more defensively sound than Vermaelen.

The arrival of Marcos Rojo may mean another left footed centre back isn't needed, but van Gaal is so desperate for defensive reinforcements, and Vertonghen may be the best on the market in January.

Are Tottenham making a mistake?

Pochettino has put his faith in summer signing Federico Fazio, whilst he also chose Younes Kaboul as the club captain instead of Vertonghen.

Kaboul started the season well but has been poor ever since, and fans already want to see him replaced just months after taking the armband.

Fazio has looked slow and cumbersome so far, and with Vlad Chiriches believed to be leaving, Pochettino may well be making a huge mistake by letting arguably his best defender leave the club.

Here is reaction from both sides of the news...

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