Newcastle chase Arsenal defender target

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Newcastle are weighing up a move for Ajax and Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen, who has previously attracted interest from Arsenal and Tottenham.

According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the 24-year-old is being targeted by Magpies boss Alan Pardew in January as he seeks defensive reinforcements to cater for his injury-hit squad.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of Vertonghen, and has been credited with an interest in bringing him to the Emirates Stadium on numerous occasions over the past 12 months.

It's thought that Vertonghen's friendship with Arsenal defender and Belgian compatriot Thomas Vermaelen - whom he played with at Ajax as well as international level - could have a large part to play on any potential move to north London.

Meanwhile, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has also been linked with a £10million bid for the player, as he looks to add defensive reinforcements at White Hart Lane when the transfer window reopens in January.

However, De Telegraaf is now reporting that Newcastle have approached Vertonghen's agent about his availability, and want to take him to St James' Park in the New Year.

Sources suggest that he is unlikely to opt for a move to the North East over Arsenal or Tottenham, but is willing to listen to any offers that are on the table.

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