Toby Alderweireld has broken his silence over his failed Manchester United move in the summer, insisting he was never desperate to leave Tottenham.
As reported by Daily Mirror, Toby Alderweireld has opened up on his failed move to Manchester United for the first time since the summer transfer window closed last month. The Belgian international has iterated that he never wanted to leave Tottenham, and that the rumours suggesting the same were untrue.
Alderweireld has been embroiled in a contract standoff with Tottenham for much of 2018. With his current deal set to run out at the end of the 2018-19 season, unless the North Londoners exercise the option to extend it by another year, and no progress over a new contract, the Belgian international was heavily linked with a possible Spurs departure.
Unsurprisingly, the 29-year-old was heavily linked with a number of big name clubs this past summer, with reports suggesting that he was desperate to leave Tottenham. But, Manchester United were the most forthcoming of all the suitors, and made numerous attempts to secure the services of Alderweireld.
Manchester United’s need for a centre-back this past summer was well documented. Jose Mourinho was eager to land an experienced defender who could be a leader at the back, mentor the likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, while being a short-term solution at the heart of the backline.
Several names were linked with the Red Devils, with Alderweireld reportedly being the priority for the Portuguese manager. But, Manchester United were unable to reach an agreement with Tottenham over a transfer fee for the Belgian international.
It is believed that Manchester United’s final offer was worth £40 million, which wasn’t accepted by Spurs. But, if Alderweireld is to be believed, rumours of him wanting a move away from Tottenham were untrue, and that he is focused on retaining his place as a regular in the first-team setup.
“Everyone was saying everywhere that I absolutely wanted to leave Tottenham. That’s not true. This summer, I quickly understood Tottenham wanted to keep me. So, I had to battle to get my place back in the team. To be in the first team again is a victory for me. Regarding my future, everything that was said in the press was not right all the time.”
Indeed, Alderweireld seems to be in the good books of Mauricio Pochettino, having started three of the four games Tottenham have played this season. However, the North Londoners aren’t out of the woods yet, as far as the Belgian international’s future is concerned.
Should they be unable to agree terms with him over a new contract, and exercise the extension option in his current deal, the player will be available for as little as £25 million next summer. And so, Manchester United could still come back for the Belgian international, although his words suggest he is committed to Tottenham.