At the start of the summer it seemed certain that Toby Alderweireld would be leaving Tottenham during the transfer window.
Spurs and Alderweireld have failed to come to an agreement regarding a contract extension. Alderweireld’s deal came to an end this year, but Tottenham had an extension clause that would keep the player at the club for another 12 months. Yet once triggered, the extension brought into play a further clause that would make Alderweireld available at a release fee of £25m.
Common sense suggested that such a price would see Alderweireld snapped up. Still only 30, Alderweireld has just enjoyed a great season, in which he showed that he was able to overcome previously injury problems which had interrupted his past two campaigns. On the evidence of 2018-19, there is no reason to think that Alderweireld couldn’t play at the top level for at least another two or three more seasons.
It’s hard to think of a Premier League squad that wouldn’t be improved with the addition of Alderweireld. The same is true of pretty much all of Europe’s top clubs. Yet so far, no one has taken the opportunity to sign the Belgium international.
Manchester United were considered the likeliest side to move for Alderweireld, with their defence obviously needing improvement. It has been reported however, that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking for younger, British players this summer and has set his sights on Leicester’s Harry Maguire.
Most sports betting sites now have Roma as the favourites to sign Alderweireld at evens, at a much shorter price than Manchester United, who are now the second favourites out at 9/2. Roma are looking for a replacement for Kostas Manolas and have the funds to trigger Alderweireld’s clause, but whether the player would want to move to the Serie A club is another matter.
Alderweireld would get a pay rise, but Roma will be competing in the Europa League next season after finishing sixth in 2018-19. At a time when Tottenham have just reached a Champions League final and are making exciting signings, Alderweireld would be wise to not just jump at any offer.
The player’s clause states that Alderweireld is only available for £25m until two weeks before the end of the transfer window. With the English window closing on Thursday 8th August, clubs only have until July 25th to make their move. Time is running out.
Though a lot can change quickly in football, at the moment it seems increasingly likely that Alderweireld may end up staying at Spurs and seeing out the final year of his contract. In 12 months he would be available on a free and no doubt would have some lucrative offers to consider. In the meantime, Tottenham would retain the services of one of the world’s best centre-backs for another season and that may ultimately be worth more to them than the £25m fee.