In Focus: Palace to battle Spurs for Veltman

According to The Telegraph, Tottenham Hotspur face a hurdle in their attempt to sign Ajax defender Joel Veltman, with Crystal Palace joining the race for his signature.

What’s the story?

Veltman, 25, is believed to be available for £8m in this summer’s transfer window as the defender prepares to enter the final 12 months of his contract with Ajax.

It is understood that Ajax have accepted that the 17-time Netherlands international will not sign a new deal, and the Dutch outfit would rather receive a transfer fee this summer, than risk losing the defender on a free transfer at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Spurs looked to have a free run at Veltman, but according to The Telegraph, new Palace boss Frank de Boer, who took charge of the Eagles earlier this week, will look to use his relationship with the 25-year-old to secure a deal.

Palace, meanwhile, are said to be prepared to offer Veltman a first-team spot next season, whereas Spurs want the defender to boost their squad, rather than step straight into the XI.

What are Veltman’s credentials?

Veltman came through the youth system at Ajax, regularly impressing for their various academy teams before making his first-team debut during the 2012-13 campaign.

The defender has since made 165 appearances for the Dutch giants, including 43 in all competitions last season as Ajax reached the final of the Europa League.

Veltman, who is capable of operating at both centre-back and full-back, is also a 17-time Netherlands international, making his debut for the national team in 2013, and since playing in the 2014 World Cup under the leadership of Louis van Gaal.

It does appear that Palace and Spurs will go head-to-head for the signature of the versatile defender, but it is a surprise that more clubs are not in the race due to his £8m asking price.

The offer of first-team football, and the chance to play under De Boer once again, might well make Palace the favourites, but Veltman could also be swayed by the bright lights of London.

Article title: In Focus: Palace to battle Spurs for Veltman

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