Back in January we carried the following piece about Ajax’s Belgian centre-back Jan Vertonghen.

Rumours persist of Newcastle’s interest in the commanding centre-back, though other Premier League clubs are also believed to be interested and will be represented at Old Trafford tonight as Ajax take on Manchester United in the Europa Cup. Vertonghen has hinted in the Dutch press that he is keen on a move to the Premier League and with only a year left on his contract in the summer, seems to tick a lot of boxes.

Where Newcastle finish in the Premier League will not just affect whether or not we’ll have European football at St.James’ Park again, or how much extra cash Ashley will rake in, but also of course the higher up we finish will massively dictate how attractive our club will be. Especially to players from abroad, who haven’t heard about the attractions of the Bigg Market (relocated to ‘Diamond Strip’ in new money) or Newcastle’s finest, Greggs!

The pull of Champions League football would be obvious to anyone but it remains to be seen whether qualifying for the Europa League/Cup would make a difference.

Have a look at Vertonghen tonight on TV and let us know what you think.

Unlike stories about Newcastle United paying £10m for strikers who score once in every twenty matches, someone who more fits the Toon’s buying policy is 6’3″ centre-back Jan Vertonghen, currently playing for Ajax.

Rumours abound in the Dutch press that Newcastle are after him on Graham Carr’s advice.

Whether there is any real substance is one thing but he does fit a certain profile.

The Belgian international already has 35 international caps, plays in a country where wages are significantly lower than in England and perhaps most importantly has only 18 months of his contract to run which gives the buying club leverage when doing a deal.

The fact he looks a canny player is a bonus!

Vertonghen is a left-footed player who usually plays at centre back but he can also play anywhere on the left side, or in defensive midfield. He has played almost 200 games for Ajax knocking in over twenty goals.

The centre-back/midfielder was recently made captain and again that ticks another box as I don’t think you can have too many leaders on the pitch.

Looks a great prospect but would Newcastle be willing and able to compete?