Jan Vertonghen

Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

Transfer rumor roundup: Eriksen, Vertonghen in demand; Mane to Madrid?

1 Comment

A roundup of all of Wednesday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Mourinho was “rude to an idiot”; talks injuries, transfers ]

With six months now remaining on his Tottenham Hotspur contract, speculation over Christian Eriksen‘s future has once again begun. The Danish playmaker is widely expected to leave Tottenham in the summer, and a number of the world’s biggest clubs — including, but certainly not limited to, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus — have already been linked. Now, Inter Milan have reportedly entered the race to sign the 27-year-old.

Speaking of Spurs players now in the final six months of their contract, Jan Vertonghen will be out of contract this summer and there have been few, if any, reports of negotiations over a new deal. As such, Napoli and Ajax are each reportedly interested in signing the 32-year-old at a heavily discounted price this month.

Real Madrid have reportedly reached out and made contact with the representatives of Liverpool winger Sadio Mane. Los Blancos would be looking for a mega-bucks transfer this summer.

Frank Lampard has played down reports that Chelsea have placed Wilfried Zaha atop their January shopping list. The Crystal Palace winger has reportedly been on his way out of Crystal Palace for years now, and Chelsea is just the latest club linked with the 27-year-old. However, Lampard says Zaha is “not in our plans.”

Moise Kean hasn’t yet delivered the good since arriving at Everton from Juventus this summer, leading some to speculate that the 19-year-old Italian could leave Goodison Park in short order. Instead, reports out of Merseyside indicate that the Toffees have no interest in losing Kean following the appointment of fellow Italian, Carlo Ancelotti, as the club’s new manager.

Tottenham chairman Levy willing to sell inside Premier League

Daniel Levy Tottenham
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy says it pretty straight-forward when it comes to Christian Eriksen or any other perceived wantaway.

“We are honestly not scared to trade with our rivals.”

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Levy told The London Evening Standard that there isn’t a universal tone and tenor to the cases of players who may want to leave North London.

Christian Eriksen’s rumored departure has been a long-running saga. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have also been mentioned as players who may want out.

“My view is really simple. For a player to sign a new contract, not only have the conditions got to be right but the player has got to want to do it. It is up to those players whether they want to stay at Tottenham and we’ll see. I don’t want to comment on ­individual players too much. I actually think it is unfair. Every circumstance is different. There may be a player who wants to stay, there may be a player we don’t want to stay.”

Levy said he’s not expecting the club to be active in the January transfer window. He says Jose Mourinho has been very clear that he’s happy to evaluate the talent already at the club.

Tottenham will like its chances of collecting points over the festive fixtures, especially if it can pass Chelsea with a win on Sunday

Spurs’ festive fixtures [ All 39 PL matches ]
Dec. 22 – Spurs v. Chelsea
Dec. 26 – Spurs v. Brighton
Dec. 28 – Norwich City v. Spurs
Jan. 1 – Southampton v. Spurs

Spurs then face Middlesbrough away in the FA Cup before a visit from Liverpool. If those five league matches go well, will Mourinho and Levy look to the market?

Spurs strike late to down Wolves in thriller

Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur are back threatening the Top Four after a late goal provided Jose Mourinho’s men a 2-1 defeat of Wolves at the Molineux on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Lucas Moura scored early and Jan Vertonghen in stoppage time as Spurs overcame an Adama Traore equalizer on a tense, drenched day in the West Midlands.

Spurs are now three points back of fourth place Chelsea, who they play next week, while Wolves sit five points back of the Top Four in eighth.

This was a great away win for Mourinho’s Spurs, who ended Wolves

It was Vertonghen’s first league goal since opening day of the 2018/19 season.

Three things we learned

1. Show-stopper set up for next Sunday: The intensity of this match was high, but it’ll be nothing compared to what’s coming in a week. Jose Mourinho will lead his thriving Spurs into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for a meeting with his longtime club (Chelsea) and its manager, who happens to be one of his favorite players (Frank Lampard). The Blues struggles have allowed many teams to have a peak at the Top Four, and Spurs will climb above Chelsea with a win. Start it now, please.

2. Planning pays off: Jose Mourinho knew his Spurs would have a 2-day advantage on rest, but still kept a bevy of stars out of a dead rubber at Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League. Harry Kane, Davinson Sanchez, Dele Alli, and Jan Vertonghen didn’t play in the 3-1 loss, while Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son split minutes. Wolves went hard on Thursday against Besiktas, and it’s no surprise that Spurs were livelier, earlier, in producing the opener. That Vertonghen provided the late goal sure helps the argument.

3. Two of Nuno’s success stories provide equalizer: When you talk about the harnessing of individual talent, few have done as well as Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo. Two of his best bits of work have been done with Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore. The latter scored a bullet goal to level the score after the hour mark, set up by a dribble and run by El Tri star Jimenez.

Man of the Match: It’s one of the goal scorers for sure, but Vertonghen gets out edge for five aerials won and three tackles against a very intense Wolves side.

Wolves had an early corner, but Spurs produced the first two bits of danger and cashed in the second. Lucas dribbled into the right of the box and smashed a shot past Rui Patricio.

The Wolves keeper would slide to defy Heung-min Son moments later, Jose Mourinho’s men out of the gates hard.

Raul Jimenez fired wide in the 26th minute, one of Wolves first true forays into the box.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Wolves were busy out of the break, and Raul Jimenez forced a good save out of Paulo Gazzaniga in the 48th minute.

The match had the intensity of a Top Four tilt, and Spurs forward Dele Alli nearly provided a show-stopping goal with a curling effort from the 18th before the hour mark.

Just when it felt safe to mark off a win for the visitors, Raul Jimenez dribbled to set up Traore for a belted equalizer worthy of the stage.

Vertonghen headed in a corner from deep outside the box, Patricio unable to get to the stoppage time shot.

Spurs’ Mourinho quotes Mandela in discussing Man Utd return

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
1 Comment

Jose Mourinho is playing down his return to Manchester United, saying he hopes for a fine reception but is simply looking forward to the future with Tottenham Hotspur.

“This is a closed chapter for me,” he said. “I left the club and took my time to process everything that happened and to prepare myself for the next challenge. Manchester United for me is in my book of experiences. A little bit like Mr (Nelson) Mandela was saying: ‘You never lose. You win or you learn,’.”

[ MORE: Rodri, Jesus star in Man City win ]

United is two points back of Spurs heading into Wednesday’s match at Old Trafford (Watch live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Mourinho’s answering questions about his side’s future, too, with January nearing and Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, and Christian Eriksen amongst those who either are or might be angling for moves away from the club.

He said he’s spoken to club chairman Daniel Levy and the players about what’s next, and that he has no worries about playing them.

“The important thing, really, is [they are] great professionals, big relationship with Tottenham, amazing understanding of what the club is and what we need from them,” Mourinho said. “So, all three ready to play, all three ready to forget the contractual situation. And that’s the most important thing now because we’re in three competitions. And these boys are great players and Tottenham people. I trust them.”

Report: Mourinho arrival could see Vertonghen, Alderweireld stay at Spurs

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Belgian duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are two of many Tottenham players out of contract in the coming summer, and to this point talks with both on a new deal had stalled.

However, there seems to be renewed hope that both stick around now that Mauricio Pochettino has departed and Jose Mourinho is on as the new manager in North London.

Lyall Thomas of Sky Sports reported Wednesday that Vertonghen is “keen to discuss” a new contract with the club now that Mourinho has been brought aboard. The report states that Vertonghen was open to discussions with Pochettino in the past, but no offer was ever officially extended. Vertonghen was reportedly informed this summer that the club would not let him leave and he would play for Spurs in the final year of his contract.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

At 32 years old, Vertonghen has made six appearances for the club in the Premier League this season, with another three in Champions League play. He has battled a muscle injury of late but was on the bench for the comeback win over Olympiakos this week.

Alderweireld, meanwhile, has been quite open about his desire to leave the club this summer at the expiry of his deal, as the club has not offered him a new contract and there are thought to be a number of clubs interested in his services. However, a report by The Telegraph says that Alderweireld feels the arrival of Mourinho could calm his desire for a new challenge.

The 30-year-old defender admitted as such publicly after the win over Olympiakos, saying of Mourinho, “I am happy that I’m playing. I’m proud to work with a manager that has won it all. I am grateful that I can become a better player under him. I want to repay him for the faith he has shows in me.”

HLN reporter Kristof Terreur claims the club has not formally offered Alderweireld a new contract, but it was always expected he would leave even should they open talks. However, now it could be that Alderweireld desires to stay and talks can progress.

One of the biggest challenges Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy faced this season was the gaggle of players all out of contract either this summer or next, with very few seemingly willing to consider an extension. Alongside Alderweireld and Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen is also out of contract this summer, while the club will need to make a decision on the future of Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis. Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama, and Oliver Skipp all have contracts expiring in the summer of 2021.