$34 million for Toby Alderweireld? $34 million for Toby Alderweireld.
How on earth can that be the case? Well, his agent inserted a clause in the Belgian defenders contract at Tottenham which kicked in when Spurs recently triggered a one-year extension.
That meant that Alderweireld now has a release clause less than half of what is likely his market value and he will be available in the final two weeks of the summer transfer window. With just over a year left on his current contract at Spurs, they will have no choice but to sell him.
Genius from his agent. Not so smart from Spurs.
The Daily Mirror state that Spurs have all but given up hope of keeping hold of Alderweireld beyond this summer and believe he will head to Old Trafford.
Alderweireld, 30, can now demand pretty hefty wages from whichever club he signs for, and he will certainly be paid a lot more than he is getting at Spurs. The Belgian star was rested for their game at Southampton last weekend and Tottenham lost 2-1, as they badly missed his calming influence in the heart of their defense.
After signing from Atletico Madrid in 2015, Alderweireld has been a regular for Spurs after he excelled in the Premier League on loan at Southampton the 2014-15 campaign.
The way he can play out of the back, but also make defending his number one priority is probably only bettered by Virgil Van Dijk in the Premier League and Alderweireld’s ability to play at center back or right back is a massive advantage.
With Barcelona and Juventus also said to be sniffing around Alderweireld, United will be desperate to add a center back of his quality to their team.
It has been a problem area for the Red Devils in recent seasons. Chris Smalling has been solid but unspectacular, while Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly have been injured a lot and the latter has really struggled this season.
If United can grab Alderweireld for $34 million, it will be one of the best bits of business they’ve done since signing Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra over a decade ago. In many ways this is the perfect signing and should be pushed ahead regardless of if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the permanent head coach or not.