Reports continue to surface about Toby Alderweireld’s uncertain future with the Tottenham Hotspur as Manchester United are placed with the best odds to land him in the summer. The 28-year-old has not extended his contract beyond the summer of 2019, even though his current deal can be prolonged for another year. If the option is exercised by Tottenham, a £25m release clause will be activated in June 2019. Spurs are worried about losing him either for free or on the cheap and they might be forced to let him go next summer to prevent a significant loss.
The Belgian international missed almost three months of football with recurring hamstring injuries before playing the entire 90 minutes against Newport County last week. His fitness has been a huge cause for concern in recent times as the centre-half often fails to a stay healthy for an entire season.
Alderweireld was left out of north London derby against Arsenal last weekend due to fitness concerns and was left at home while his teammates travelled to Turin for the round of 16 Champions League fixture against Juventus last night.
The current Spurs lineup features Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez in the centre-back role and the duo has looked impressive in recent times. Pochettino elected to go with the 4-back formation against Juventus last night and it worked pretty well in their favour even though the Serie A champions scuffed their own opportunities.
The Argentine boss might not want to break up the formidable partnership that has developed between Sanchez and Vertonghen and this puts Alderweireld in a tough spot.
Manchester United are undergoing their own defensive problems with Eric Bailey spending a long stint on the sidelines. They are coming off a 1-0 loss to a relegation-threatened Newcastle United team and have fallen 16 points behind City in the title race.
It is now being reported that Jose Mourinho is fed up with the incompetence of both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones and the Portuguese is hatching a plan to offload the duo in the summer. Smalling’s footballing quality has dropped heaps and bounds in recent times often lunging into rash challenges. His marking has also been below par and this is starting to not only infuriate the manager but the fans at Old Trafford as well.
Alderweireld will a quality acquisition for Mourinho who is currently scouting the market for defensive additions in June. Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane are a few of the shortlisted candidates.