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Leading European clubs are keeping close tabs on Toby Alderweireld and his ongoing contract negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur, with the possibility the player could be available in the summer.
Alderweireld has more than a year left on his current deal, but clubs were alerted to possible disharmony in the Spurs camp when the Belgian defender was left out of the matchday squad for the derby against Arsenal last weekend and the Champions League clash with Juventus. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino says his absence was so he could work on his fitness, having only just returned from a 3-month injury lay-off. However, the player had declared himself fit and available for both matches.
The player is currently in contract negotiations, and will likely want to become one of Spurs’ top earners with a weekly wage in excess of £150,000. However, negotiations on a new deal have stalled. While Alderweireld has a contract to 2019, with an option to extend to 2020, that contract also has a £25 million release clause that could be activated at the end of next season. With this in mind, Spurs may try to sell him this summer to get a bigger fee.
Real Madrid are thought to be planning a major revamp of the squad in the summer, and Alderweireld, as one of the best defenders in Europe, is understandably on their radar.
Manchester United are also thought to be planning to remodel their defence in the summer, and Alderweireld would arguably be an upgrade on current defenders such as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City would also likely be interested and have the spending power to tempt Spurs.
That said, Spurs’ chief executive Daniel Levy will not want to see one of his stars leave and will no doubt work hard to tie Alderweireld to a new long-term deal.