Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is plotting a stunning last minute swoop to bring Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen to the Emirates Stadium according to reports.
The Belgian international has been courted for some time by Wenger who is in need to defensive reinforcements after seeing his back four savaged by injuries this season. That coupled with the struggles of Per Mertesacker during his debut campaign in the Premier League has prompted the Gunners chief to uncharacteristically dip his toes into the transfer market.
Vertonghen, who was appointed captain by Ajax boss Frank De Boer last year, has spent his entire career at the Amsterdam Arena making over 200 appearances and was the subject of interest from Arsenal in the summer. The Eredivisie champions managed to rebuff Wenger’s first attempts to sign the versatile defender but might not have much luck second time around.
With a considerable bank balance sitting untapped within the Emirates bank vault the Frenchman is willing to spend big to capture the 24-year-old left footer of who can operate in central defence, full back and midfield. Ajax value Vertonghen at the £10 million mark but with less than a week left before the transfer window closes they may steadily increase that valuation in an effort to keep him in Holland.
Wenger is prepared to spend large chunk of his budget to secure his services and partner him with fellow Belgian Thomas Vermaelen at the heart of Arsenal’s defence. The pair played together during Vermaelen’s time at Ajax and the prospect of forging a partnership with him in North London could appeal to Vertonghen who has also courted interest from rivals Manchester United and Newcastle.