By Wayne Veysey
Mauricio Pochettino is unconvinced Jan Vertonghen should be handed a new contract by Tottenham after a downturn in his performances this season, Football Insider has learned.
The Belgium international has been a nailed-on starter almost throughout the Argentine’s six-season reign but there are growing signs he is not as effective as he once was.
A Tottenham source has told Football Insider that Pochettino and his coaching lieutenants are concerned about the drop in Vertonghen’s performance levels and aren’t ready to sanction an extension to his current deal, which expires next summer.
This comes after Football Insider revealed earlier this month that the centre-back, 32, is eager to extend his seven-year spell at the club with another extension.
Vertonghen has re-established himself in the Tottenham team after being omitted for the first three matches of the season, when Davinson Sanchez partnered Toby Alderweireld in central defence.
Sanchez has moved to right-back for two of the last four games to accommodate Vertonghen, but neither player have looked especially comfortable and Spurs’ defence has been notably sloppy this season.
They lost 2-1 at Leicester City on Saturday after failing to hold on to a lead for the second time in four days, following the midweek 2-2 draw at Olympiakos.
There are fears that the 116-times Belgium international may be on the downhill slide following a glittering top-level career for club and country.
Tottenham’s decision-makers want to see a marked improvement in Vertonghen’s performances before handing him a new contract.
In other Tottenham news, it can be REVEALED that the club are lining up a sensational £60million offer.