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Jan Vertonghen’s agent has revealed there is “a lot of interest” in the defender but staying at Tottenham remains a possibility.

Vertonghen was substituted just 10 minutes into the second half of Tottenham’s FA Cup fourth round victory over Southampton on Wednesday night. The Belgian had looked ropey throughout, though it’s worth noting the change was tactical – Spurs switched to a back four and ended up coming back to win the tie.

Upon leaving the pitch, Vertonghen looked desperately unhappy and did not acknowledge the applauding supporters as he made his way to the bench, where he sat pensively for the rest of the game. His reaction inevitably led to more questions over his future.

But the 32-year-old’s agent, Tom De Mul, has suggested his client could remain in north London beyond the end of his current contract this summer.

“At the moment, we have no agreement, but we’re not ruling anything out,” De Mul told Het Laatste Nieuws (as relayed by Sky Sports). “We’re open to everything.

“There is a lot of interest for Jan, certainly on a free transfer, but Tottenham also remain an interesting option for us. The door is still open.

“He is still very happy with Tottenham and feels great in London. Jan has developed his life there, and it is out of the question that he will not let it go.

“He has a lot of respect for Tottenham, and on the other hand Tottenham have a lot of respect for us. That makes sense after almost eight years together, there is a strong bond.”

De Mul also explained Vertonghen’s response to being taken off against Southampton, adding: “When he was subbed off, Jan was just disappointed about his and the team’s performance. It is difficult for Jan to hide that, but that’s just the way he is.”

It will be interesting to see if Vertonghen starts against Aston Villa next weekend. After his poor display against Southampton, a centre-back partnership of Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld might be a better solution.

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