Manchester United leading the race to sign Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld

According to The Mirror, Manchester United are set to beat Juventus and Barcelona to the signing of Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham in the summer for a fee of just £26m.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Spurs took up the option to extend the Belgian’s contract by one more year back in January, although that decision activated a £25m release clause included in the contract.

Understandably, that news alerted some of Europe’s top clubs, who will surely be keeping a close eye on developments throughout the summer with the clause set to come into play during the final two weeks of the window.

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Alderweireld will have just one year remaining on his contract come the summer, and with the 30-year-old reluctant to sign a new deal, Spurs have no option other than to sell the former Ajax man.

United should steer clear

It may be a controversial opinion, but the Red Devils should steer clear of Alderweireld and focus on a younger alternative.

Alderweireld is 30 years of age, and will most likely have just two or three years left at the top before his ability begins to decline, cracks start to develop in his game and injuries become more and more common.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed the 20-time Premier League champions from a creaking outfit under Jose Mourinho, to a more dynamic, youthful side where the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba are the main men – the Norwegian has also promoted the likes of Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and James Garner from the youth ranks into the first-team.

The former Cardiff manager has lost just two games since taking over at the end of December, and much of that has been down to his trust in youth.

Signing Alderweireld would give off somewhat of a Mourinho stench around Old Trafford yet again with the signing of another ageing star chasing big wages and for a fairly large fee.

The form of 24-year-old centre-back Victor Lindelof has also been a massive highlight in the current campaign, and finding him a defensive partner for the long-term should be the priority instead of signing Alderweireld.