Vertonghen picks Spurs over Arsenal, Drogba quits Chelsea
Belgian defender happy with Europa Cup, as compatriot Eden Hazard annoys Man City
WHO OUT there knows what Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen (pictured) was doing on Saturday night? Perhaps he was washing his hair, because one thing's for sure: the strapping six-footer can't have been tuned in to his telly watching Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Otherwise why is he still looking towards Tottenham, a club who are condemned to the Europa League next season following the Blues' epic win?
But according to goal.com the 25-year-old Belgian international remains adamant his future lies at Spurs, despite interest from Arsenal. Apparently Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy held "crunch talks" with Ajax in Amsterdam on Monday with Vertonghen instructing "the two teams to swiftly settle a fee".
What it is about the Europa League that Vertonghen loves so much isn't clear, but goal.com says the Belgian centre-half has "already agreed personal terms with Spurs" and is eagerly looking forward to taking part in Europe's premier club competition (not including the Champions League). Apparently Ajax want £13m for Vertonghen - though they will accept £10m - but Spurs have yet to offer more than £8.5m.
The Daily Mail reports that Robin van Persie's future has taken "another twist" with Juventus on the brink of turning their attention elsewhere. The Italian club have been chasing the 28-year-old Arsenal captain for weeks but the Mail says they've given up the ghost; instead they are lining up a "swoop" for Manchester City's Edin Dzeko. That, says the paper, will only increase speculation that the Sky Blues are planning to prise Van Persie from the Emirates next month in a big money move.
It's officially all over for Didier Drogba at Chelsea. After three days of fevered speculation the club finally confirmed on its website that he is off to pastures new.
"I wanted to put an end to all the speculation and confirm that I am leaving Chelsea. It has been a very difficult decision for me to make and I am very proud of what we have achieved but the time is right for a new challenge," he said.
Drogba, whose last action in Chelsea blue was to score the winning penalty in the Champions League final, is expected to join his old Stamford Bridge team-mate Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua in China, according to the Daily Mail, and almost everyone else in football.
Meanwhile The Times reports that Manchester City, like many a suitor before them, are getting fed up with Europe's premier tease Eden Hazard, and his exorbitant demands. The paper says Hazard wants to be paid £200,000-a-week, which would put him on a par with the likes of Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez, but the club are only offering half that amount. What's more Hazard's agent wants his cut of the pie as well, and is asking for €6m to make the transfer happen.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Roberto Mancini is now rather more interested in Montpellier's Moroccan midfielder Younes Belhanda.
In other news, Portuguese rag A Bola has reported that Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira was sat next to Manchester United chief executive David Gill during Saturday's Champions League. A coincidence? A Bola doesn't reckon so, claiming that the future of Benfica playmaker Nicolas Gaitan's was on the agenda. Apparently the two clubs are "discussing terms" for the Argentine with the Red Devils looking to pay no more than £22m for the 24-year-old. ·