Exclusive: Manchester United 'given encouragement' in pursuit of Tottenham star Alderweireld

Yahoo Sport UK
Manchester United have been offered encouragement as Alderweireld seeks a transfer from Tottenham this summer
Manchester United have been offered encouragement as Alderweireld seeks a transfer from Tottenham this summer

Tottenham are open to the prospect of selling defender Toby Alderweireld ahead of the new Premier League season and will consider a deal with Manchester United if the price is right, Yahoo Sport UK has been told.

United failed to strike agreement with Tottenham in their initial discussions over Alderweireld ahead of the World Cup, with the Old Trafford club refusing to pay Tottenham’s inflated valuation in the region of £75m for the 29-year-old Belgian defender whose current Spurs contract is due to expire in the summer of 2019.

However, a clause in his contract means he will be allowed to leave Tottenham for a reduced fee of £25m and that will almost certainly lead to Alderweireld’s departure in this transfer window after he fell out of favour with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino last season.

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Davinson Sanchez cemented his position as Tottenham’s first choice centre back alongside Jan Vertonghen after talks over a new contract broke down with Alderweireld and his advisers, yet Spurs are keen to sell the player for a fee close to that paid by Liverpool when they signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last January.

United also rebuffed Tottenham’s efforts to sign French striker Anthony Martial as part of the Alderweireld deal, even though the player and his agent have made it clear that he wants to make a move away from Old Trafford after falling down the pecking order in Jose Mourinho’s forward line last season.

With all sides failing to come close to an agreement last month, United made it clear that they would be considering alternative defensive options in this transfer window in what was viewed as a bargaining ploy by those close to the negotiations.

Yet Yahoo Sport UK understand that United have now been given some encouragement that a compromise can still be reached, with Alderweireld and his advisers making it clear that they are keen to finalise the transfer in the window that will end for Premier League clubs on Thursday, August 9th.

With Alderweireld still involved in the World Cup with Belgium and insisting he will not consider his next career move until his international commitments end in Russia, talks over his move to United are expected to resume in the coming days.

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A fee of around £60m may persuade Tottenham to sell Alderweireld to United, even though the north London club remain reluctant to sanction the sale of one of their star players to a direct Premier League rival.

Alderweireld’s advisers failed in his attempts to negotiate a new deal with Tottenham after they demanded the defender should be given wages parity with the top earners at the club, with Spurs unlikely to yield to those demands as the club’s former midfielder Jermaine Jenas suggested the time was right to cash in on the centre-back in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sport UK.

“I love Toby, he is a phenomenal player and Tottenham are better when he is in the team, but he is approaching his 30th birthday and I know how Daniel Levy operates at Spurs when a player gets towards that age,” Jenas told us last month.

“The wage demands, what they can afford and where they need to prioritise and maybe Alderweireld doesn’t fit into that structure. The club may look at how much it would cost to keep Alderweireld and believe they have a better value for money option in Sanchez. In many respects, I probably agree with that.”

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