Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, who has chosen not to sign a new deal so far, is a shock summer target for local rivals Arsenal.
If the report from The Sun is to be believed, Arsenal have entered the race for Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian international has been in a contract standoff with Tottenham for a while now and has been linked with several top clubs in the past year or so. But, the Gunners have now joined the chase.
Toby Alderweireld rose to prominence after a brilliant loan spell at Southampton, who bizarrely chose not to sign the player on a permanent basis. Southampton’s loss was Tottenham’s gain as Spurs wasted no time in bringing the Belgian international back to England after his Saints loan spell ended.
Alderweireld has since become a key player for Spurs and has 29 Premier League appearances to his name this season so far, despite his contract standoff and Mauricio Pochettino dropping him for some games as a result of the same. The Belgian though, has not signed an extension and is set to enter the last year of his contract in the summer, which has alerted several top clubs.
Manchester United, Manchester City and a few other clubs were linked with interest in Alderweireld. But, Arsenal have shockingly entered the race for the Belgian international.
Summer arrival Sokratis has established himself at the back, but the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny have been rather inconsistent. Nacho Monreal has done well in a central role. But, with Unai Emery preferring a three-man backline, reinforcements are needed in central defence.
The Gunners are looking to strengthen their backline and could have ignited their interest in Alderweireld due to the fact that the defender would be available for £25 million in the summer. The Belgian international has a release clause which comes into play in the summer, which would mean a huge potential for Spurs in the form of a player who is valued far higher than the buyout fee.
Tottenham could look to resume negotiations over a new deal and aim to wipe out the release clause embedded in the contract. On the other hand, Arsenal and other clubs would be looking to take advantage of the meagre release clause in order to launch an assault on the Belgian international.
Transfers between Arsenal and Tottenham have been rare, with only eight players having played for both clubs. Technically, Harry Kane is not included in the list as he was only a part of Arsenal’s youth team at the age of eight before being released by the club.
It will be interesting to see if Toby Alderweireld becomes the ninth player to play for both Arsenal and Tottenham. But, the Gunners would love to add a player of Alderweireld’s calibre, that too, at the aforementioned price, which would not reflect too much of a pinch in their tight pocket.