United and Arsenal alerted by £10m defensive target’s ‘come and get me’ plea

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Football News

Highly rated Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen has paved the way for a summer move to England after publicly declaring his ambition to play in the Barclays Premier League.

The 23-year-old Belgian international will likely become the subject of a bidding war between Manchester United and Arsenal when the transfer window reopens in June.

Vertonghen, who is rated at £10million primarily operates as a central defender, but has also been deployed as a left back in the past.

His versatility is seen as a major attraction for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger who is keen to add to his defensive options, amidst recent speculation that Gael Clichy is eyeing a move away from the Emirates.


Speaking to reporters in a recent interview, Vertonghen confirmed, "I am ambitious and I want to play in the Premier League - it is my favourite competition."

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also looking for a central defensive addition, as he begins his search for a long-term replacement for the increasingly crocked Rio Ferdinand at the heart of the Red Devils back line.

However, a move to Old Trafford seems less likely for Vertonghen who is said to favour a move to North London in order to be reunited with national compatriot and former Ajax teammate Thomas Vermaelen.

"I lost a friend when he went to Arsenal but for my career it was good," he reflected. "We get on really well.

"I see him with the national team and he sometimes comes back to Amsterdam for a few days when he is free and we hang out together.

"He is one of my best friends and I’m very happy he has been such a success at Arsenal. He tells me really good things about Arsenal and living in London."

Despite being tied down to Ajax Amsterdam until June 2013, a summer move to either Arsenal or Manchester United is looking increasingly likely for a player who feels his destiny is to play for an elite club in England.

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