Ajax coach Frank de Boer has confirmed that Jan Vertonghen is likely to depart the club in January, with Manchester City and Arsenal rumoured to be the interested parties.
He’s gone so far as to confirm that they are looking into bringing back Cristian Chivu to replace him. Chivu, 31, spent 4 years at Ajax, and like Vertonghen, played at left-back and centre-back, and also slotted into a deeper midfield role when needed. Currently at Inter Milan, the Romanian has been given permission to leave this winter.
Vertonghen is highly-rated and has been heavily linked with the Premiership for the past 2 seasons. Left-footed, good on the ball, and versatile, the Belgian is a manager’s dream, and at 6’4″, would have no trouble elbowing Peter Crouch in the head on the not-so-proverbial cold nights in Stoke.
He has a good understanding with Thomas Vermaelen, having started off at left-back alongside him at Ajax (later moving into the middle when TV5 signed for us), and with Squillaci likely to leave, Gibbs constantly injured, and Song the only reliable holding midfielder, Vertonghen could add valuable depth in all those positions.