Toby Alderweireld's contract clause expires as Tottenham prepare to open fresh contract talks
The contract clause allowing clubs to sign Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld for a cut-price £25m has expired, meaning anyone looking to sign the Belgian international will now have to negotiate what is likely to be a more inflated fee.
Alderweireld has been strongly linked with Manchester United and some leading Italian clubs in the last 18-months, with his Tottenham contract set to expire in the summer of 2020 and suggestions that the 30-year-old has not been offered an improved deal by the north London club.
Tottenham's move to make use of a clause in his deal that activated a one-year contract extension last year also opened the door for clubs to sign Alderweireld for just £25m, but that clause expired on Thursday and there are now suggestions that fresh contract talks could begin with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
"My focus is on Spurs and I try to deliver the job I need to and I’m happy and that's it," stated Alderweireld earlier this week.
"Do I think I will still be a Spurs player at the start of the season? That's my focus. In football everything can go quickly but all I'm doing is focusing on Spurs and being fit for the start of the season.
"I think the manager knows I am committed to the club and the team but you never know in football."
Alderweireld will be allowed to talk to potential employers in January ahead of what would be a free transfer move next summer if he does not agree to a new contract at Tottenham before then, but it now seems likely he will start the season with his current employer.
Tottenham have shown a reluctance to hand players over the age of 30 new contracts, yet manager Mauricio Pochettino has hinted he would like the club to make an exception in that stance to keep Alderweireld as part of his long-term plans.