Jan Vertonghen ended his eight-year association with Tottenham Hotspur last month following the end of the Premier League season.
The Belgian moved to White Hart Lane in 2012 from Ajax and went on to make over 300 appearances for the club (transfermarkt).
Sky Sports claimed that the 33-year-old was not offered fresh terms and instead left the North Londoners as a free agent.
The central defender completed a move to Benfica last week and his agent, Tom De Mul has claimed that the Portuguese giants were not his first choice of club.
He admitted that there was significant interest from Italy with Lazio, Roma and Napoli all keen to bring him to Serie A with talks looking promising at one stage over a move to the latter.
However, Benfica’s willingness to offer Vertonghen a three-year contract proved to be a significant factor along with the opportunity to win silverware and play in European competition.
‘Benfica were not his first choice at the start of this process,’ His agent Tom De Mul told Sporza.
‘There were other clubs interested, but Benfica worked well to show Jan that he was a priority.
‘They offered stability and consistency, especially with a three-year contract, which is fundamental for a player at this stage of his career.
‘There had also been contact with Italian clubs like Roma, Inter and above all Napoli, which at a certain point really were going somewhere.
‘However, the three-year deal was very important for Jan, along with the opportunity to win trophies and play in the Champions League, or at least the Europa League.’
Have something to tell us about this article?