Oct 1 (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen said media speculation about his future at the club has not been a distraction after he was left out of the team at the start of the season.
The 32-year-old, whose current contract expires at the end of the season, missed the opening three matches of Tottenham’s Premier League campaign before being restored to the starting side for the next four matches.
Vertonghen also played in the 2-2 draw at Olympiakos Piraeus in their Champions League Group B opener last month.
“My future is not a distraction. I’m very aware of my age. I feel fairly young and it doesn’t distract me,” Vertonghen told a news conference on the eve of Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.
“I want to play as many games as I can... I’m very ambitious and I feel I’ve got a couple of good years left in me. I hope I can help the team as long as I can.
“I prefer not to go too deep... there’s always some movement (in contract talks) everywhere... it’s my eighth season now, I had a great past, I’m feeling great at the moment in every single way here.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said that the Belgium international was an important part of his plans.
“I’m open to everything... that is a deal between the club and him, his agent. We’ll see what happens because always there are two parties in all the deals,” Pochettino said.
“Jan, after five years that we’re together, this is the sixth season and he was always an important part of my project... that feeling isn’t going to change.” (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)