Arsenal chase Ajax star

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Arsenal are being linked with a move for Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen.

The Belgian centre back is the former defensive partner of Thomas Vermaelen, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is considering a move that would see the duo play alongside each other once again.

Vertonghen moved to Germinal Beerschot as a teenager in 2000 before a switch to the Ajax youth setup in 2003. A senior debut for the Godenzonen followed in 2006 before a loan stint at RKC Waalwijk was used in a bid to gain more first team experience.

The 23-year-old returned to the Amsterdam Arena for the following season, and has been a regular for the Eredivisie powerhouse ever since.

A brief injury lay-off affected him last season, but Vertonghen still played a crucial role in the side finishing 2nd behind Steve McLaren's former club FC Twente.

At international level, Vertonghen was a regular for the U21 side between 2006 and 2009, although a call-up and debut against Portugal in 2007 showed his potential to the Belgian public.

A versatile defender who can also play in midfield, the Daily Star reports that Wenger is lining-up Vertonghen as a replacement for the set-to-exit William Gallas, Sol Campbell, and Mikael Silvestre.

The Frenchman has promised defender additions, recently saying: “There will be something happening before the end of the World Cup – certainly on the defensive side.”

Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny is a confirmed target at the Emirates, and Wenger is desperate to strengthen at the back ahead of another Premier League challenge next season.

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