Tottenham have agreed personal terms with Ajax star Jan Vertonghen but the move has hit a snag over the Dutch club’s £13 million asking price.
The 25-year-old was a guest at Spurs' 2-0 win over Fulham on Sunday before he had talks with club executives and was shown around the Londoners’ new training centre in Enfield.
Vertonghen has chosen Spurs ahead of their north London rivals Arsenal and has agreed to a salary worth around £60,000-a-week, almost twice his wages at Ajax. The defender, who was named Eredivisie player of the year, wants to join Spurs irrespective of whether they play in next season’s Champions League.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is now in advanced negotiations over a deal with Ajax but the clubs are described as "some way apart" on agreeing a transfer fee, much to the frustration of Vertonghen and the White Hart Lane side.
Ajax value their captain at £13m and have so far refused to compromise on the fee, with Tottenham currently offering £8.1m, which they believe is good value for a player who has just one year remaining on his contract.
Tottenham still expect to secure an agreement with Ajax and will step up talks this week amid fears that rival suitors, including Arsenal or AC Milan, could attempt to hijack the deal.
Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, considers Vertonghen a key part of his plans for next season and a long-term replacement for club captain Ledley King, who suffers from ongoing knee problems.
"Tottenham are absolutely my favourite," the defender told De Telegraaf last week. "Tottenham is a fantastic football club that has the tradition I want. They buy young, eager, offensive-minded players.
"[But] the Ajax board are asking for a very big amount for a player whose contract is running out in a year. I trust that both Tottenham and Ajax will put some water in the wine and they will soon reach an agreement.
"I hope that this awareness is there, because a transfer lingering for weeks like Maarten Stekelenburg's [to Roma] seems very harsh.
"He joined at the end of Roma's preparation [for the new season]. I want to be able to blend in with the other players at Spurs from the start [of pre-season training]."