Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was reportedly ‘fuming’ with Mauricio Pochettino at being dropped against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The 32-year-old was a shock omission from the Spurs squad that overcame the Premier League newcomers 3-1, with centre-backs Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez preferred at the back.
After the match Pochettino claimed he was simply rotating his defenders, playing down any speculation of a fall out between him and his player.
However, the Daily Mail report the manager was actually unhappy with Vertonghen’s fitness and left him out as a result.
The report suggests Vertonghen was ‘fuming’ by the decision and the rest of the squad were even ‘surprised’ he turned up to support the team from the stands at White Hart Lane.
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Spurs return to action against champions Manchester City on Saturday but it not yet clear whether Vertonghen will return to the first-team for the match.
Following the victory against Villa, Pochettino said: “With all the players fit you struggle to find a starting XI.
“This is my sixth season, I think everyone knows me. I am going to play the players who I believe deserve to play.
“There is not any issue, only my decision was to play with Toby [Alderweireld] and Davinson [Sanchez].
“We have more than 25 players and everyone needs to understand we have plenty of good players in every position”.
Pochettino may be ready to unleash new loan signing Giovani Lo Celso against City on the weekend, but Ryan Sessegnon will have to wait before making his debut.
The left-back, who arrived for £25million from Fulham, is still recovering from a hamstring problem.
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