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Spurs boss: Vertonghen has never declared a desire to leave

15:28 22 October 2014

Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen

EMPICS Sport

Mauricio Pochettino insists he is happy with Jan Vertonghen and that the defender is content at Tottenham amid ongoing speculation of a rift and uncertainty about the defender’s future.

Spurs engaged in contract talks with Vertonghen and his representatives in the summer but they are now on hold, and the centre-back was surprisingly named on the bench for Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City, with Federico Fazio taking his place.

However, Pochettino has downplayed suggestions of problems behind the scenes and insists Vertonghen has never voiced any desire to leave.

“Jan is an important player for Tottenham and for us,” Pochettino said. “There are a lot of rumours and information and different situations, and for me it’s easy because I don’t read, never.

“I know the players are sometimes affected by comment or rumours and they call me about the rumours but Jan is a very important player for Tottenham and for me.

“We played Arsenal and Southampton and then we had the international break. [Younes] Kaboul and [Federico] Fazio worked very hard here and are fresh and I gave them the opportunity to play [against Manchester City], but I haven’t changed my view on Jan. For me, he is a very good player and he is a key player for us.

“I never hear from Jan that he wants to leave or change something. It is impossible to hear or to trust in other people around him because, for me, it is important when we have a chat inside my office – Jan never told me he wants to leave the club.

“I have trust in my player and Jan never told me about that. He is happy at Tottenham. Maybe sometimes he wants to play more but my decision is to take a decision. He is happy and I’m happy with him.”

Spurs host Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League group stage tomorrow and Nabil Bentaleb has joined Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker in the treatment room.

“Nabil Bentaleb is injured,” said the head coach. “He has something [an ankle problem] from his national team. We hope he will recover as soon as possible.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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