Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on Jan Vertonghen and has admitted that he loves working with the centre half due to his character.
The 33-year-old has signed a short-term contract extension with the club until the end of the season.
However, reports indicate that he is set to leave the club after eight seasons in North London, with clubs in Spain and Italy said to be interested in snapping him up as a free agent when his contract expires (Calcio Mercato).
The Belgian international has not started a match for the North Londoners since the season resumed and has made two late cameos against Sheffield United and Everton.
However, the experienced defender could have a more important role to play in Tottenham’s final five games of the season, with Eric Dier suspended for four of those matches.
While Mourinho insisted that the defender’s future is unclear, he praised Vertonghen for committing himself to the side until the end of the campaign.
The Spurs boss told Football.London: “Every player is a different player. You have examples of players that in this situation of finishing the season after the end of their contracts, they decided by themselves to leave and not be available to help the club for an extra month.
“I think first of all the decision to accept [an extension] is phenomenal for a guy who is a very much connected to the club after spending the majority of his career here.
“If he is going to be here next season is something that I don’t know, he doesn’t know and it’s something we’ll have to see after that.
“However to say, independent of everything, ‘I’m available for the extra month for the team’, shows the dimension of his character.
“He’s really a guy that I love to work with because of his character.”
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With our next four games coming thick and fast with few rest days in between, one cannot expect Jose to use the pairing of Sanchez and Toby for all of those clashes, although I believe that would be the Spurs boss’ preferred pairing.
I can see Vertonghen starting at least one game before the end of the season, which I suspect would either be against Newcastle or Leicester.
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