Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino this afternoon answered questions on contract rebel Toby Aderweireld’s place in his squad, amid growing rumours of an imminent North London exit for the stopper.
Alderweireld, a 28-year-old Belgian international, has been on the books of Spurs since making the move to London from Atletico Madrid in 2015.
The no-nonsense stopper caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs with his stellar showings during a loan spell with Southampton during the 2014-15 campaign, with Tottenham eventually splashing out a fee of around £12 million for his services.
And Alderweireld has since gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as one of the English top-flight’s finest defenders over the last couple of seasons.
However, in a saga that has been dragging on for some time now, Spurs’ attempts to tie their star defender down to a new contract in the English capital have proven completely unfruitful, with little to no progress having reportedly been made to this point.
Alderweireld’s current Tottenham contract is set to expire in the summer of 2019, though his deal also contains an option for a further year.
However, the complex terms of the proposed extension would see the Belgian’s release clause drop to just £25 million, as long as any interested clubs agreed to pay the entirety of the clause at least 14 days before the close of the transfer window.
As such, the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and more have all been linked with potential moves for Alderweireld, with the Belgian having struggled for game-time since returning from injury earlier this year.
‘The best players to win’
Speaking in a press conference ahead of his side’s crucial London derby with Chelsea tomorrow evening, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was questioned on the current role of Toby Alderweireld in his squad, with the Argentinian tactician suggesting that his stopper will simply need to work harder to reestablish himself as a regular for the remainder of the season, regardless of his plans for the future:
‘I need to pick the players that I believe are the best players to win against Chelsea, and then against Stoke. I cannot play with more than 11, and you need to choose. I agree that players need to play and compete. But for me, first of all, every single player needs to show in the training session that they are better than their team-mate. And then, at that moment, I pick.’