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Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen having medical at Benfica ahead of three-year deal

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former tottenham defender jan vertonghen having medical at benfica ahead of three year deal

Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Portuguese giants Benfica on Thursday.

The 33-year-old left Spurs earlier this summer after eight years and 315 appearances in north London.

Competition for the Belgian defender’s signature was high, with Italian sides Roma, Lazio and Inter Milan all keen to acquire his services.

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Benfica in Portugal

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Benfica in Portugal

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Benfica in Portugal

But Benfica appear to have won the battle with the defender having his final medicals checks at the Portuguese club before signing a three-year deal.

Vertonghen arrived at Tottenham in 2012 for a deal believed to be around £10million and became a mainstay in the Spurs defence throughout his time in London. 

He featured 23 times for Tottenham last season but was let go after not being offered a new contract.

Upon announcing his departure from Spurs the 33-year-old said: ‘So my time at the club comes to an end. A sad day for many reasons.

The 33-year-old spent eight years at Spurs but is set to sign a three-year deal at Benfica

The 33-year-old spent eight years at Spurs but is set to sign a three-year deal at Benfica

The 33-year-old spent eight years at Spurs but is set to sign a three-year deal at Benfica 

‘I will miss the friends I’ve made here, the staff that make the club run, playing at the amazing new stadium and of course you fans.

‘Thank you for all the support over the years. You’ve been amazing. We had many unbelievable memories but for now, it’s goodbye.’ 

The Belgian had previously come through the ranks at Ajax, where he played over 200 times. 

He left Tottenham without a trophy to his name though did guide the club to the 2015 League Cup Final and the 2019 Champions League final, both of which Spurs lost to English rivals Chelsea and Liverpool respectively. 

The defender helped Belgium win a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia

The defender helped Belgium win a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia

The defender helped Belgium win a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia

He also came close to a winners’ medal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Belgium, but had to settle for bronze after his country lost to eventual winners France in Russia. 

The experienced defender will be hoping for better luck with trophies when he completes his transfer to Benfica, who finished as runners-up in the Portuguese top flight. 

Vertonghen will be the Portuguese club’s fourth signing of the summer after completing deals for Brazilian trio Helton Leite, Gilberto and Pedrinho.  

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From Tranmere to Madrid! Former Rovers youngster Marvin Park makes his Real debut

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from tranmere to madrid former rovers youngster marvin park makes his real debut

It may have been an underwhelming season opener for Real Madrid, but Los Blancos‘ goalless draw with Real Sociedad won’t be forgotten in a long time for Marvin Park, as the youngster made his Madrid debut.

The 20-year-old academy product came off the bench to replace Rodrygo with 20 minutes remaining as Zinedine Zidane‘s side looked to break the deadlock at the Reale Seguros Stadium.

Park’s senior appearance caps a remarkable journey in which the Spanish youngster came through the ranks of a number of clubs before finding a home at Real Madrid, including Tranmere Rovers.

Former Tranmere Rovers academy player Marvin Park (R) has made his debut for Real Madrid

Former Tranmere Rovers academy player Marvin Park (R) has made his debut for Real Madrid

The 20-year-old Spaniard was introduced by Zinedine Zidane with 20 minutes remaining

The 20-year-old Spaniard was introduced by Zinedine Zidane with 20 minutes remaining

The midfielder joined Rovers’ youth academy as a nine-year-old in 2009, and spent three years in the North West before returning to Spain and playing for Ciutat de Palma. 

He then went onto develop at La Salle and Jonquet Penya Arrabal before Madrid snapped up the youngster in 2016, and Park has flourished at Los Blancos ever since. 

Park, who has represented Spain at U19 level, was born in Spain to a Nigerian father and South Korean mother, and barring his stint in England with Tranmere, has spent his life in Spain. 

The 20-year-old was unable to make the difference for Zidane’s side, though, with Madrid’s title defence getting off to a steady start with a point at Sociedad. 

Los Blancos had a mixed 2019-20 campaign, winning LaLiga ahead of arch rivals Barcelona, but they crashed out of the Champions League to Manchester City in the Round of 16. 

Park was unable to break the deadlock as Madrid drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad on Sunday

Park was unable to break the deadlock as Madrid drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad on Sunday

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Angry words between Kieran Gibbs and Seamus Coleman caught on camera

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angry words between kieran gibbs and seamus coleman caught on camera

There weren’t many cool heads as Kieran Gibbs received a red card in Everton‘s thrashing of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon. 

Gibbs was sent off after catching James Rodriguez with a raised arm, and then had an angry exchange of words with Seamus Coleman as he was walking off the pitch.

‘I’ll f****** do it again,’ said Gibbs, walking past a group of Everton players, and the Toffees captain took exception.  

Kieran Gibbs received a red card for violent conduct in West Brom's defeat to Everton

Kieran Gibbs received a red card for violent conduct in West Brom’s defeat to Everton

‘No you won’t do it again,’ Coleman retorted. ‘Who are you talking to, you’ll do it again? Hard man… f****** hard man.’

It all started when there was controversy as Rodriguez gave Gibbs a shove by the touchline with the Albion defender reacting by catching him in the cheek with a raised arm.

Rodriguez milked it with a roll and clutch of the face and Gibbs was dismissed.

As he left the pitch, Gibbs had a heated exchange with Everton captain Seamus Coleman

As he left the pitch, Gibbs had a heated exchange with Everton captain Seamus Coleman

Gibbs had received a shove from James Rodriguez, and responded by raising his arm

Gibbs had received a shove from James Rodriguez, and responded by raising his arm

Bilic argued with Dean when they walked off and was given a red card himself, but later admitted his player ‘had given the referee no choice’ and said Gibbs would have been better falling to the ground himself. 

Everton ended up winning the game 5-2, leaving the Baggies rooted to the bottom of the table having conceded eight goals in their first two games back in the Premier League. 

Meanwhile Everton spent the night at the top of the table, but have now been leapfrogged by Leicester City after their own big win on Sunday. 

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Dean Smith thinks Aston Villa’s last-gasp survival last season was divine intervention

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dean smith thinks aston villas last gasp survival last season was divine intervention

Dean Smith believes divine intervention may have kept Aston Villa in the Premier League as he reflected on the lucky escape they had against Monday night’s opponents Sheffield United.

When the sides met at Villa Park in June, the Blades were denied a goal because Hawk-Eye failed to spot that Oliver Norwood’s free-kick had been carried over the goal-line by Orjan Nyland. 

As a result, referee Michael Oliver received no alert to his watch or earpiece. The game ended 0-0 and Villa eventually stayed up by a point.

Dean Smith led Aston Villa to narrow Premier League survival last season on the final day

Dean Smith led Aston Villa to narrow Premier League survival last season on the final day

Dean Smith led Aston Villa to narrow Premier League survival last season on the final day

Villa face Sheffield United on Monday, bringing back memories of their June clash last term

Villa face Sheffield United on Monday, bringing back memories of their June clash last term

Villa face Sheffield United on Monday, bringing back memories of their June clash last term 

VAR failed to spot that Orjan Nyland had carried the ball over the line, costing the Blades a win

VAR failed to spot that Orjan Nyland had carried the ball over the line, costing the Blades a win

VAR failed to spot that Orjan Nyland had carried the ball over the line, costing the Blades a win

Smith’s father Ron, a lifelong fan who worked as a steward at Villa Park, died in May aged 79 after contracting Covid-19, and the Villa boss revealed: ‘I am not really one for religion or anything like that but my dad had just passed away. 

‘His old steward’s jacket was in the Holte End and he had a thing about watches. So maybe he just wanted to play a bit of a trick that day.

‘It is one of those one in a million things. It had never failed before. People can say what they want about the goal but we stayed up on merit and there were many goals chalked off which shouldn’t have been. 

‘VAR was certainly contentious for Villa last season.’

Smith's father had just passed from COVID-19 and the Villa boss believes he helped them out

Smith's father had just passed from COVID-19 and the Villa boss believes he helped them out

Smith’s father had just passed from COVID-19 and the Villa boss believes he helped them out 

Since avoiding relegation, Villa have brought in four players and tied captain Jack Grealish to a new five-year contract.

One of the arrivals, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, is expected to make his debut on Monday night after joining the club from Arsenal for an initial £16million.  

‘He’s a player who finished the season really well with Arsenal,’ Smith said. 

‘He wanted a fresh challenge and we’ve got a situation where Tom Heaton isn’t fit for the start of the season.’

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