Tottenham defender Jan Vertongen has hinted he could sign a new contract and says he is “feeling great in every single way”.
The 32-year-old is in the final year of his current deal and is yet to agree fresh terms, despite saying in the past he would be keen to stay at Spurs.
Vertonghen, speaking on the eve of his side’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, was coy when asked whether he was in negotiations with the club, only revealing that there was “some movement”.
He was, however, more forthcoming on his desire to stay at the club for as long as possible.
“I would prefer not to go too deep into that (contract talks), but there is always some movement,” the Belgium defender said.
“It is my eighth season here, I have had a great past and I am feeling great at the moment in every single way here, that is all I want to say about that.
“I am very aware of my age but my body is not because I am feeling good and I feel fairly young, it doesn’t distract me, I want to play as many games as I can at the highest level.
“I am very ambitious, I feel like I have a couple of good years left in me. I hope I can help the team for as long as I can.”
Boss Mauricio Pochettino left Vertonghen out of the side for the first three games of the season, though insisted that had nothing to do with the contract situation.
Vertonghen has always been one of Pochettino’s main men during the last six years and that has not changed.
“I am open to everything, but that is a dealing between the club, him and his agent,” Pochettino said.
“Let’s see what happens. Jan after five years that we are all together, is always an important part of my project.
“That feeling isn’t going to change.”
Vertonghen is likely to be in the side that takes on five-time winners Bayern Munich in Group B of the Champions League on Tuesday.
Having signed in 2012, the Belgian is one of the longest-serving players at the club, and has seen the transition from Europa League hopefuls to Champions League finalists.
It has been an impressive journey and one Vertonghen knows only too well, having been part of a Europa League group stage that also contained Maribor, Panathinaikos and Lazio.
“That’s the perfect example of how well we’ve done over the past six or seven years,” he added.
“We have come a long way, we shouldn’t forget that. We worked very hard to get to this stage. We want more and we are still very hungry.”
Spurs drew their opening game 2-2 against Olympiacos, having led 2-0, and will be keen to ensure they do not get embroiled in another difficult group stage.
GROUP B ✨— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 29, 2019
Last season they had just one point after three games and needed a miracle to get out into the knockout stages, never mind the final.
Pochettino knows they need to get points on the board, but says it is more about how his side do at the business end.
“Looking at last season, I think we all sign for the same campaign,” he said. “Champions League – we hope to win tomorrow and be in a better position.
“Last season, we had one point from three games and nobody believed in us and look after that we got to the final of the Champions League.
“That’s why in football it’s important how you start but more how you finish, in a long season we need to be calm, we need to be strong in our mentality.”
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