Tottenham star Jan Vertonghen will need to prove to Jose Mourinho he has overcome mystery ankle problems to secure a new contract, Football Insider can reveal.
The defender, 32, has struggled for form and fitness this season and faces a major battle to land an extension to his current deal, which expires next summer.
A Tottenham source has told Football Insider that Vertonghen’s decline in performance levels can partly be explained by niggling injuries that are a growing concern.
The 118-times Belgium international has been hit by a series of ankle injuries in the last three years and this has affected his mobility and turning speed.
Mourinho will need to be convinced over the coming months that Vertonghen can reach his former heights or he may veto a new contract for the fans favourite.
The centre-back is out of contract at the end of the season, by which time he will be 33.
Football Insider revealed in September that the centre-back is eager to extend his seven-year spell at the club with another deal, and fresh reports have suggested his stance has not changed.
Vertonghen is currently working his way back from a separate hamstring injury that has sidelined him for a month and was an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Olympiakos.
He has made nine appearances for Spurs this season and nearly 300 in total for the club he joined from Ajax in 2012.
Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez have been paired at centre-back in Mourinho’s first two matches in charge, wins over Olympiakos and West Ham.
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