Tottenham Hotspur are understood to have opened negotiations with Manchester United for their £75million-rated defender Toby Alderweireld according to a report in The Mirror.

The Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho is known to be a huge admirer of the Belgian international and sees him as the potential cornerstone of his defence around as he seeks to rebuild for next season.

Alderweireld will be out of contract at White Hart Lane in 2020 and he is yet to reach an agreement with Spurs over a new deal.

There is also the issue that should the 29-year-old leave next summer he has a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave the Lilywhites for just £25million and as a result, the Londoners are open to offers in this window in the knowledge that they would be able to attract a far higher price.

It was originally thought that Spurs would accept around £50m for Alderweireld but the market for defenders was completely torn apart when Liverpool paid £75m for Virgil van Dijk in January and even though the Belgian is approaching his 30th birthday it is believed that chairman Daniel Levy will be holding out for around the same price.

It has been a frustrating time for the Belgian who has seen his season decimated by injury but at his best he is regarded as one of the elite defenders in the Premier League and indeed Europe.

He joined Spurs from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015 after impressing in a loan spell at Southampton and his towering presence led the North London giants to the best defensive record in the top-flight in each of the next two seasons.

The more immediate priority for Alderweireld is the upcoming World Cup in Russia next month where he will be at the heart of the Belgian rearguard as they attempt to win football’s greatest prize for the very first time.


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