Manchester United have reportedly opened talks with Tottenham over Toby Alderweireld, but could have to pay upto £75 million to land the defender.

According to an exclusive report from The Mirror, Manchester United are finally making progress in their pursuit of Toby Alderweireld. The Red Devils have initiated talks with Tottenham over the transfer of the Belgian in the summer transfer window, with Jose Mourinho looking to bolster his backline.

One major caveat in the report is Daniel Levy and his persistence to get the maximum value for Toby Alderweireld. Manchester United may have opened talks, but the Red Devils face having to pay a similar amount Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk, with Levy looking to drive the price up to £75 million in the summer.

Alderweireld impressed during his season-long loan at Southampton, so much so that Tottenham snapped the Belgian up from Atletico Madrid the summer after. Since then, the towering centre-back has been a mainstay in the Spurs lineup and the Belgian National setup.

But, the 2017-18 campaign has been a rocky one for the Belgian. Often out with injuries, Alderweireld’s insistence to not sign on his Tottenham contract, one that runs till 2020, has seen him run into troubled waters with the club and manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Driving up the price or pricing rivals out of the equation? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Driving up the price or pricing rivals out of the equation? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Alderweireld has since been frozen out of the first-team setup, hardly ever getting a look-in. The Belgian is attracting interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and other Premier League rivals.

At Manchester United, Jose Mourinho is prepared to axe several first-team players in the summer, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling heading the list. Eric Bailly is reportedly on the chopping block as well, with relations worsening between the defender and the manager over lack of game time in the last few matches.

Mourinho is looking to rope in defenders from the top clubs – players who will possess the pedigree to represent a club as big as Manchester United. The likes of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti have been doing the rounds, but Alderweireld would be a better option, considering his Premier League experience.

However, if the reports of Daniel Levy asking upto £75 million for the Belgian are true, Manchester United would be better off pursuing the aforementioned La Liga duo unless Tottenham agree to negotiate a lower fee, with Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane both available at around the £50 million mark.

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