Tottenham fans will not want to say goodbye to Toby Alderweireld anytime soon, however, they may not have much choice in the matter.
The Belgian’s contract expires next summer but it looks like he’ll be off in the coming weeks, owing to a £25m release clause in his deal.
We’ve gone well past the point of negotiating a new deal with the 30-year-old defender too, so it looks like Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy will be in the business of getting the best possible deal for the defender, and that could see another player come the other way.
As Roma’s interest in the defender hots up, it’s reported that the Lilywhites could be set to try and poach Nicolo Zaniolo as a part of any deal for Alderweireld, and an exclusive from Alfredo Pedulla claims just that, as Spurs have supposedly offered the defender plus 27m euros for the 20-year-old.
The current state of the transfer market has got Manchester United paying £80m for Harry Maguire and Leicester spending £45m on Lewis Dunk to replace him, so losing Alderweireld for just £25m would be a catastrophic deal from the Lilywhites’ perspective given how good the Belgian has been for them.
Daniel Levy will know that, and bringing in one of his targets in the form of Nicolo Zaniolo in the same deal that Alderweireld exits is the only way to make losing the club’s sublime centre-half bearable.
The Italian attacker starred for Roma last season, scoring six times in his 36 games for the club in his breakthrough season, including a spectacular double against Porto in the Champions League to secure a 2-1 home win in the round of sixteen.
There’s a long way for the 20-year-old to go before he can be considered a top player, and even if he does join Spurs there are no guarantees that he’d be an instant starter, but the added depth in attacking midfield and out on the right would certainly be welcomed.
Any other deal that sees Alderweireld leave the club for just cash looks paltry in comparison to the one bringing Zaniolo in, especially considering what Alderweireld has done in his four years as a Tottenham player, helping the club to four straight top-four finishes and a Champions League final.
Across those four years, Alderweireld has made 159 appearances for the club and scored goals against Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham, making him a player who will leave a significant hole in the club’s current squad.