According to Belgian media outlet Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN), Tottenham Hotspur have admitted defeat in their bid to keep Toby Alderweireld and are hoping to get €50m (£44m) for the centre-back this summer.
Well, Spurs and Alderweireld have been in talks over extending the Belgium international’s contract which is due to expire in 2019 – although the north London outfit have the option to extend it by a further 12 months – but HLN says that the 29-year-old’s wage demands and what Tottenham are willing to offer him are too far apart for a compromise to be reached.
While Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy would have been hoping that it was possible for that to happen, HLN report that this is now unlikely and they could choose to cash in on him this summer while his value is still high.
The author of the article, Kristoff Terreur, has suggested in a post on his official Twitter account on Wednesday that Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in Alderweireld, although they are yet to make their moves.
The Belgian has established himself as one of the best in his position in both the Premier League and in European football in generally since joining Tottenham from Atletico Madrid in 2015.
The 29-year-old was a regular alongside Jan Vertonghen at the heart of the Spurs defence before he picked up a hamstring injury in the 3-1 win against Real Madrid in November, and despite playing 90 minutes in the FA Cup matches against Newport County and Rochdale he suffered a setback that has kept him on the sidelines until he returned to the substitutes’ bench against Swansea in the same competition last weekend.
It certainly seems as though there could be a deeper meaning to him not being involved in the squad for the north London derby against Arsenal and the first leg of their Champions League knockout tie against Juventus previously when he appeared to be fit, and it would be no surprise if his absence was also partly down to the contract negotiations with Tottenham fans already reading between the lines given he is fit to play for Belgium.
They may well do, if they can get a good price and ideally don’t have to sell to a Premier League rival.
Levy and Pochettino may feel that Alderweireld’s value is at the highest it will be this summer, and they may not want a player that clearly isn’t too bothered about staying at the club next season simply running his contract down.