Real Madrid have reportedly joined the race to sign Toby Alderweireld, who is also being targeted by Manchester United for a summer move.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Toby Alderweireld is the subject of interest from Real Madrid, who are plotting a summer move for the Belgian centre-back. Los Blancos have joined Manchester United in pursuit of the Tottenham defender.
Alderweireld has carved out a reputation for being one of the most reliable defenders in the Premier League ever since he first stepped foot into England with Southampton, in the summer of 2014. But, it is at Tottenham where he has established himself as a world class centre-back, forming an essential part of the core of Mauricio Pochettino’s high flyers.
In recent months though, his position at the North London club has become increasingly uncertain, with Alderweireld and Tottenham in the midst of a contract standoff. Spurs have been desperate to get the player to tie him down to a new deal and remove the £25 million release clause in his current contract, which has alerted the likes of Manchester United and now, Real Madrid.
What has made Tottenham’s position weaker is Pochettino’s snubbing of Alderweireld in the two most important games of 2018, with the player not a part of the matchday squads against Arsenal and Juventus. With the 28-year-old reportedly unhappy over not being picked, Manchester United and Real Madrid could now have the impetus to launch the offensive.
.@ESPNFC | Tottenham Hotspur have been attempting to negotiate a new contract with Toby Alderweireld for over a year with the club reluctant to meet the player’s wage demands of around £150,000-a-week. #THFC pic.twitter.com/IrQIStqU3z
— Daily Hotspur (@Daily_Hotspur) February 15, 2018
At Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has a gamut of centre-backs at his disposal. But, recent reports have suggested that the Red Devils could be set to offload Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in the summer, with the Portuguese looking to revamp his side’s defensive unit.
With Victor Lindelof taking time to settle in as well, Manchester United’s interest in a centre-back becomes understandable, making Alderweireld a viable target, considering he is unlikely to take time to settle and is an experienced and reliable Premier League campaigner.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, have been floundering at the back this season, with Zinedine Zidane failing to fill the gaping hole left by the departure of Pepe. Raphael Varane has been an uncertain presence with his injury problems, while Sergio Ramos’ disciplinary issues haven’t helped matters much.
Nacho has arguably been the most reliable defender for Los Blancos, but Zidane does not see him as a regular. With Jesus Vallejo not looking the part yet either, Real Madrid’s need to sign a centre-back is urgent.
As per the report, Real Madrid fancy their chances of landing the player in the summer, although Manchester United might have a say in the matters as well. Tottenham, meanwhile, are eager to agree new terms with Alderweireld, but will sell him if they are unable to tie him down to a new deal this summer.
It now remains to be seen if Alderweireld ends his impasse to sign a new contract with Tottenham, or if he joins either of Real Madrid or Manchester United, or some other club. Pochettino, though, is likely to be key in all this, to get the player to agree on a renewal.