In Focus: Tottenham must find solution as Toby Alderweireld stalls on new deal

According to reports in The Times, Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld is said to be insisting a release clause is included in a new contract if he is to commit his future to the club.

What’s the word, then?

Well, having established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and helping Spurs have the best defence in the top flight this season, the north London club are keen to tie the Belgian down to a new contract.

However, the 28-year-old has twice rejected new terms because of a disagreement over a release clause and there have been no talks in recent times between Daniel Levy and Alderweireld’s representative, something which will concern manager Mauricio Pochettino.

How much would the release clause be?

Tottenham have the option to extend the Belgium international’s deal by another year from 2019 but if they do, Alderweireld has the right to insert a clause that would allow him to go if another team offered £25.3m for his services – an idea he is keen on as he knows he could more than double his current £53,000-a-week wages if he moved on to pastures new.

Are any clubs targeting him?

Manchester City – who are also targeting Spurs teammates Kyle Walker and Danny Rose this summer – are said to be one of the clubs showing an interest as Pep Guardiola looks to strengthen his defence, while Serie A giants Inter Milan are also understood to have thrown their hat into the ring.

Why is it vital Tottenham keep him?

Because he is, arguably, the best centre-back in the league.

A brilliant defender, comfortable on the ball and able to play accurate, forward passes, Alderweireld is in his prime and he has formed a formidable partnership alongside Belgian teammate Jan Vertonghen at the heart of the defence.

If Spurs want to be regular Premier League title contenders, they must do everything to keep hold of him.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, from Tottenham’s side it’s simple and they must offer him a wage that he will be happy with and one that doesn’t include a release clause, but if it is something the player demands then they may have to go with it, or risk breaking apart a defence that has been so reliable over the course of the last two seasons.