Exclusive: Tottenham favourite urges club to cash in on Toby Alderweireld as Man United circle

Toby Alderweireld is wanted by Manchester United, according to reports.
Toby Alderweireld is wanted by Manchester United, according to reports.

Former Tottenham midfielder Jemaine Jenas told Yahoo Sports that selling defender Toby Alderweireld to Manchester United may now be the best option, after changing his views on the future of the Belgian centre-back.

Jenas told Yahoo Sport in December that while Spurs may lose some of their star names to clubs willing to pay them double and even treble their wages, Tottenham chairman Daniel Level had to do all he could to hold on to manager Mauricio Pochettino, star striker Harry Kane and centre-back Alderweireld.

Yet Jenas has now changed that opinion, after suggesting Davinson Sanchez has already proved he is a worthy replacement to 29-year-old Alderweireld.

“I have changed my mind on this issue from my last interview with Yahoo,” Jenas told us, as he attended an event to support BT Sport’s charitable initiative The Supporters Club.

“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. The wage demands, what they can afford and where they need to prioritise and maybe Alderweireld doesn’t fit into that structure.

“Also, when I said that Spurs had to do everything they could to hang on to Alderweireld, I was not thinking Davinson Sanchez would have had as good as season as he has just had.

“That Spurs defence looked pretty solid for most of the campaign and Sanchez was a key part of that, so 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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“I would love Toby to stay because I believe he is the best defender in the world when he is right at it, but we will see where it goes from here. I’m sure there will be plenty of big clubs trying to sign him, with Manchester United believed to be among those.”

Exclusive: Jermaine Jenas speaks to Yahoo Sports
Exclusive: Jermaine Jenas speaks to Yahoo Sports

Jenas is also confident Spurs will persuade manager Pochettino to remain at the club, despite being linked with the Real Madrid vacancy following Zinedine Zidane’s shock resignation last week.

“The Real Madrid job is always likely to be the one that takes Mauricio away from Spurs, but I’m not sure this is the right moment for him,” says Jenas. “There is no rush. He has the ability to go on and achieve something historic with this Tottenham side and that must appeal to him.

“Two or three years down the line, he might feel as if there is nowhere else for him to go with Tottenham and then he can look to go to Real Madrid or the other big clubs and have a real go at winning the Champions League and major trophies.

“The new stadium looks amazing, they are back in the Champions League, he had a lot of power and influence at Tottenham and that is a lot to walk away from. There are so many factors why he signed that contract and now we see what happens.

“They have just had an amazing season, in my view. To finish third in a season when they were playing away at Wembley was a great achievement and they will have another new stadium to adapt to next season.

Man Utd look to take advantage of Spurs’ stance on transfers with early Toby Alderweireld approach
Man Utd look to take advantage of Spurs’ stance on transfers with early Toby Alderweireld approach

“If they get back into the top four, maybe get into the quarters or semis of the Champions League and try and win a cup, that would be progress for Spurs next season. As we sit here now, it is hard to imagine anyone catching Man City in the title race, but teams will work out how to frustrate them and nullify them to an extent so things can turn around very quickly in this game.”

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Jermaine visited Pitshanger FC to mark BT Sport’s The Supporters Club, which is raising £7m for good causes. Watch ‘Jermaine’s Supporters Club’ on June 20 on BT Sport 1 at 9.45pm