Toby Alderweireld has denied he wanted to leave Tottenham over the summer, claiming he was never close to joining Manchester United.
The Belgian was heavily linked with an exit from Spurs having failed to agree terms on a new contract midway through last season, a situation – combined with a serious hamstring injury – that saw him lose his place in Mauricio Pochettino’s preferred starting line-up.
Manchester United appeared to be his most likely destination. Back in June, ESPN reported that United had made a £50 million bid for Alderweireld, but Tottenham were holding out for £70 million.
A deal failed to materialise before the Premier League’s transfer window closed, and Alderweireld is now back in the Spurs team. He even played a crucial role in last month’s 3-0 win against United at Old Trafford.
And the defender has now revealed that winning his place in the line-up back was all that concerned him over the summer.
“Everyone was saying everywhere that I absolutely wanted to leave Tottenham,” Alderweireld told reporters (via ESPN).
“That’s not true. This summer, I quickly understood Tottenham wanted to keep me. So, I had to battle to get my place back in the team. To be in the first team again is a victory for me.
“I just try to help Tottenham as best I can with my qualities. Regarding my future, everything that was said in the press was not right all the time.”
Alderweireld has featured in both a back four and a back three so far this season. It will be interesting to see which formation Pochettino opts for against Liverpool this weekend.