According to the gossip columns, tabloid sites and social media, Manchester United’s main priority this summer was to sign a new centre-back. The likes of Barcelona’s Yerry Mina and Leicester’s Harry Maguire have both been heavily linked with moves to Old Trafford. Both of those links strangely came about after the pair had enjoyed strong performances at the World Cup.
Alderweireld set to sign
It seems there will be a new centre-back joining Manchester United in the next 48 hours. It is not either of the aforementioned players, as the Express claim that the Red Devils will tie up a £60million deal to sign Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld before the transfer window shuts.
The Belgian international is currently in the last year of his contract at Spurs, so could leave next summer as a free agent. However, Tottenham have an option to extend his deal, but the new deal includes a £25million release clause.
No doubt Spurs are willing to sell the 29-year-old. However, understandably Tottenham are holding out for as much money as they get for the defender. Their chairman Daniel Levy is known as a man who makes very shrewd deals when it comes to selling players anyway.
One of the best centre-backs in the top-flight
Alderweireld has developed a reputation as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League in recent years. He would arguably get into any starting eleven in the English top-flight.
Tottenham were reportedly desperate to keep the defender. However, they were not prepared to meet Alderweireld’s wage demands when a contract extension was discussed. Alderweireld wanted parity with some of his contemporaries when it came to wages, which is understandable.
Spurs have a relatively strict wage structure compared to their top six rivals, so were unwilling to meet his wages demands. Tottenham will always struggle to keep their best players if they continue to restrict spending on wages.
Would be a good signing for United?
The mooted fee is a lot of money for a player of 29 years of age. However, considering modern fees, Alderweireld could be a good signing for the Red Devils. The United defence looked highly suspect last season in the Premier League.
Without the inspired form of Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, the Red Devils would have conceded far more goals than they did last season. The fact that United had been linked with so many centre-backs illustrated the worries of boss Jose Mourinho about his defensive options.
The likes of Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones all struggled for consistency at the heart of the United defence. Alderweireld’s reassuring presence would make a major difference in that backline.
The Belgian international is a better defender than anything the Red Devils have to offer at the minute. Signing Alderweireld could be the difference between United being realistic Premier League contenders or just fighting for a top-four place, that is how important a signing the Belgian could be for the Red Devils.
Will Toby Alderweireld be playing for Manchester United in the new season?