Jan Vertonghen heads for Tottenham exit, Ledley King joins backroom team


Jan Vertonghen is set to leave Tottenham after his teammates paid emotional tributes following the final game of the season at Crystal Palace.

The Belgium defender has not been offered a new deal and will leave after eight years service during which he made more than 300 appearances and was one of the most reliable centre-backs in the Premier League. The goalkeeper Michel Vorm is also departing with the club set to confirm their exits on Monday.

Harry Kane said on Instagram after the draw at Palace that secured a Europa League place: “Wish nothing but the best for jvertonghen and mvorm with whatever is next for them. Been a pleasure sharing a dressing room and playing with them both.”

Vertonghen’s Belgium teammate Toby Alderweireld said: “Sad to see these two amazing guys leaving the club, both great players but even better persons. We shared countless moments that I’ll never forget. Wishing you all the best for your next steps. Keep in touch.”

The midfielder Harry Winks added: “Gonna miss these two. Been a huge part of my career since I came through the academy both on and off the pitch. All the best in your next chapters boys.”

Vertonghen, who joined Spurs in 2012 from Ajax, has fallen out of favour this season, first under Mauricio Pochettino as his contract issue rumbled on last summer, then playing a minimal role under José Mourinho. He has spoken about the desire to move to a new country, with Spain and Italy possible destinations.

Mourinho has also confirmed that former Spurs captain Ledley King will join his backroom staff, replacing his current assistant, Ricardo Formosinho. “I know what [Ledley] can give,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “I know what he has to learn and he’s very happy to do it. The fans love him, and he’s one more connection with the local community.”

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Tottenham secured a Europa League place with the 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park, while the hosts ended a run of seven straight league defeats. After the match, Roy Hodgson appeared pessimistic about the club’s chances of retaining Wilfried Zaha.

“I think he’s making it pretty clear that he’d like to move,” Hodgson told talkSPORT. “How keen and desperate he is to get away, only he can answer that question … we’ll just have to watch this space, and we’ll accept what decision he’s finally made.

“I don’t think he’s been anything like as good as he can be during this period, but he’s really had to do a job up front all on his own,” Hodgson added. “He’s a very valuable player for us and he’s still got a good transfer value so what will happen I really can’t say.”



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