As per a growing number of reports in the English press, European champions Real Madrid have joined the race for Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld.
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 central defender 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 stoppers 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.
On the move?
The risk of losing Alderweireld for such a disappointing fee next summer, coupled with the fact that the central defensive partnership of Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sánchez has proven so successful for Mauricio Pochettino’s men of late, have led to mounting rumours that Spurs could be willing to part with the Ajax youth product this summer, should a suitable offer arrive.
All of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have been touted as potential destinations for Alderweireld over recent weeks, but, as per reports from the Mirror and more this morning, the giants of the Premier League have since been joined by another European heavyweight in the race for the experienced Belgian international.
Real Madrid are the club in question, with the Spanish champions said to be long-term admirers of the talents of the 28-year-old.
The hefty wage packet reportedly being sought by Alderweireld in North London would no doubt prove easier to come by at the Bernabeu, with Real, along with Manchester United, currently viewed as the leading contenders for the Tottenham star’s signature.