Thursday 17 January 2019

Manchester United make their stance clear in their pursuit of Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Manchester United are refusing to match Tottenham's asking price for their Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld and have made it clear that they will walk away from a deal unless a compromise can be found swiftly.

United have been in talks with Spurs over a deal for their 29-year-old centre-back for several weeks and while the player is keen to seal a move to Old Trafford, the price tag has proved to be a major sticking point.

Reports have suggested that United have offered a deal of around £55m for Alderweireld, yet have been informed that the deal on the table falls well short of that figure before add-ons that Spurs believe may be not realistic.

Tottenham have suggested that Alderweireld should be valued close to the £75m Liverpool paid to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last January, but United are not willing to consider that kind of offer and have made Spurs chairman Daniel Levy aware that they will consider alternative options unless a breakthrough is make imminently.

The claims that United are prepared to walk away from talks over Alderweireld's sale may well be a bargaining position from Old Trafford chiefs, who appreciate Spurs have already decided to sell the player this summer after he refused to sign a new contract.

In addition, he would be allowed to leave Spurs for just £25m due to a clause in his current contract in the summer of 2019, so it seems certain we have not heard the last of this story, even if United are prepared to consider alternatives as they look to sign a leader for the heart of their defence.

Alderweireld has given strong hints that he wants to leave Tottenham this summer. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

While Alderweireld is rated as one of the most accomplished defenders in the Premier League, former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas believes Spurs should cash in on Alderwiereld this summer after he lost his place in the Spurs team in recent months.

"I love Toby, he is a phenomenal player and Tottenham are better when he is in the team, but he is approaching his 30th birthday and I know how Daniel Levy operates at Spurs when a player gets towards that age," stated the BT Sport pundit.

"The wage demands, what they can afford and where they need to prioritise and maybe Alderweireld doesn’t fit into that structure.

"Also, when I said that Spurs had to do everything they could to hang on to Alderweireld a few months back, I was not thinking Davinson Sanchez would have had as good as season as he has just had.

"That Spurs defence looked pretty solid for most of the campaign and Sanchez was a key part of that, so the club may look at how much it would cost to keep Alderweireld and believe they have a better value for money option in Sanchez. In many respects, I probably agree with that.

"I would love Toby to stay because I believe he is the best defender in the world when he is right at it, but we will see where it goes from here. I’m sure there will be plenty of big clubs trying to sign him, with Manchester United believed to be among those."

Meanwhile, Tottenham have failed in their efforts to encourage United to negotiate a deal for their forward Anthony Martial, who is a top transfer target for Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino this summer, with Old Trafford chiefs reluctant to sell the Frenchman to a Premier League rival.

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