Mauricio Pochettino has dared anyone interested in signing Toby Alderweireld to come to Tottenham and try to negotiate with chairman Daniel Levy.
The Belgian centre-back has been excellent in his two seasons at Tottenham and is being courted by Italian giants Internazionale, rich with Chinese investment. But he has another two seasons on his contract at White Hart Lane after this one, with an option for another one up to 2019-20.
Tottenham have absolutely no reason to sell their best centre-back which is why, when asked about it at his press conference this afternoon, Pochettino laughed off the suggestion that he might leave. If Inter really want Alderweireld, Pochettino suggested, they should come to north London and try to sign him. Good luck with that.
“Speak with Daniel,” Pochettino laughed. “Some clubs are interested in some players. It’s very clear they need to knock on the door of Daniel Levy.”
Spurs have retained almost their entire first-team squad on new contracts this season, although Alderweireld remains on the contract he signed when he joined in 2015. But Tottenham are well-protected against big teams trying to sign their players and Pochettino sounded very confident that Alderweireld would be going nowhere this summer.
“The players that will leave the club is always a club decision,” Pochettino said. “All the players have contract for the next two or three years minimum and we are not worried. I invite the clubs who want players from Tottenham to visit the training ground and meet our chairman. Nobody has doubts about Toby, no.”
Pochettino is a great admirer of Alderweireld and implied that the Belgian defender should have been in the PFA team of the year. There were four Tottenham players – Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Harry Kane – but no Alderweireld, with David Luiz and Gary Cahill instead at centre-back.
“I’m happy for them and for Tottenham,” Pochettino said of the Spurs players who were included. “Maybe they’re missing someone from us, I think. But I don’t care too much. Like manager of the month, it’s more a trophy for the club, not for an individual. It’s good but I don’t care too much.”