Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen drops hint about signing new contract

LEVERKUSEN, Germany -- Jan Vertonghen has hinted he could be the next Tottenham Hotspur player to sign a new contract, while adding that the club has as strong a squad as any in the Premier League.

Last week, sources told ESPN FC that Vertonghen, 29, had agreed a new deal in principle with Tottenham but was delaying signing.

The Belgium international has two years remaining on the contract he signed when he joined Spurs from Ajax in 2012 and has been in talks with the club over an extension since the beginning of this year.

"It's important that so many of us are signing new deals and all think the same about Tottenham -- the way we want to stay together for years and believe in what we are doing here," Vertonghen told reporters after the 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday. "It is just great to be part of it."

Tottenham were without Vertonghen's usual defensive partner Toby Alderweireld in Leverkusen, while Harry Kane was also absent though injury.

Hugo Lloris, Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose -- all key players last season -- have also been injured this term, but Spurs are the only unbeaten team in the Premier League and are in a solid position to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

"I think the squad is as strong as any in the Premier League," Vertonghen said. "Obviously, some other teams have exceptional talents, but we have them as well. It's a sign that we can miss anyone and it shows the strength of the team.

"It started with Harry. People said we would miss Hugo and Michel Vorm showed his quality against Liverpool. Eric Dier showed it now against Leverkusen. There is a strength to this team.

"In the transfer window, some great players came in. We can miss almost anyone, obviously not eight or nine players, but the squad is so strong. In Germany we showed that, in a performance without Toby and without Kyle Walker."

Vertonghen admitted it was odd not to play with Belgium teammate Alderweireld, also a former teammate at Ajax.

He is likely to partner Dier at centre-back again at Bournemouth on Saturday, although a scan on Alderweireld's right leg revealed no lasting damage.

"Since Toby arrived, the Bayer game was maybe the second I haven't played with him as a centre-back," Vertonghen said. "We've got such a good thing, I've been playing with him for maybe eight years now for the national team and at club level.

"But it worked very well with Eric as well. We spoke before the Bayer game, we sat apart from the group and discussed a couple of things about their strikers, that they play 4-4-2, how to cover each other and I think it turned out very well. He is used to playing centre-back, he turned into a midfielder but he knows how to play there."