Wednesday 22 May 2019

Manchester United are still keen to sign Toby Alderweireld despite Tottenham's demands

Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld is the subject of transfer rumours (Martin Rickett/PA)
Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld is the subject of transfer rumours (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Tottenham are refusing to alter their stance on the future of defender Toby Alderweireld and remain reluctant to sell the Belgian defender to a domestic rival unless their £70m valuation is met.

Independent.ie revealed in early June that Manchester United were refusing to meet Tottenham's lavish asking price for Alderweireld, even though the 29-year-old centre-back had told the north London club that he was keen to seal a move to Old Trafford.

Alderweireld and his advisers refused to sign a new deal after talks with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy earlier this year and while he still has a full year left on his current deal and the club can activate a one-year extension that will keep him at the club until 2020, all parties are willing to finalise a transfer if the right conditions are met in this summer's transfer window.

However, Alderweireld's eagerness to move to United has proved to be a stumbling block any potential deal, with chairman Levy and Spurs boss Pochettino reluctant to strengthen a direct rival at the top of the Premier League.

Intriguingly, United are facing a similar dilemma as they look to resolve the future of unsettled forward Anthony Martial, with Tottenham given encouragement that he is keen to move to the north London club if Old Trafford chiefs give the green light to that deal.

Following the line Spurs have adopted over Alderweireld, United are unwilling to sell Martial to a Premier League rival, but his eagerness to leave Jose Mourinho's set-up after he fell out of favour with the Portuguese boss last season is reported to have been reiterated once again in recent days and Spurs remain hopeful they could land their top target in the next two weeks.

Suggestions that United are in talks to sign Leicester defender Harry Maguire in a £60m deal have added spice to the long-running saga over Alderweireld's potential move to Old Trafford, with United chiefs clearly keen to give Spurs a message that they are willing to end their interest in Mourinho's top defensive target unless a breakthrough in talks is imminent.

A potential swap deal involving Alderweireld and Martial that would have echoes of United's move to exchange Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez last January could still be a possibility if both sides change their stance on selling to domestic rivals, yet this transfer stand-off remains unresolved with just two weeks of the English transfer window left to run.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Leinster's succession plan, Munster's missing piece and the art of contract negotiations

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport