The Telegraph (Law) – Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is ready to push Toby Alderweireld’s price up to £40 million if his release clause is allowed to expire on Friday. And that could accelerate Manchester United’s bid to land Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward sitting out of the last leg of the club’s pre-season tour to work on transfers.
United are hopeful of signing Maguire from Leicester City, but have made Alderweireld one their primary back-up options should they be forced to look elsewhere.
Woodward, though, will be aware that it could cost United an extra £15m if they allow Alderweireld’s clause to expire and then miss out on Maguire, forcing them to go back for the Belgian. It means United may try to finalise a deal for Maguire before Friday in case they then have to turn to Alderweireld if a deal for the England international cannot be agreed.
Leicester have been holding out for between £80m and £90m for Maguire, who wants to move to Old Trafford, while Alderweireld’s clause allows him to leave Tottenham for just £25m until July 26.
Alderweireld’s clause also stipulates that a club would have to pay it in no more than three installments and over no more than two years.
Missing out on Maguire and having to overpay for Alderweireld would be hugely embarrassing for Woodward, which is why he now needs to act fast. Despite the fact Alderweireld only has 12 months remaining on his Spurs contract, Levy values the 30-year-old at £40m and will demand that much if his clause is allowed to expire.
Roma have considered a move for Alderweireld, but the Italians cannot afford the fee or wages and Tottenham are yet to receive a firm offer for the player. Alderweireld has not indicated he will sign a new contract if he stays at Tottenham this summer, but he has made it clear he will remain committed to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
“Yes, the release clause is running out and again anything can happen,” said Alderweireld. “But my focus is on Spurs and in my head I will be playing for Spurs.
“My focus is on Spurs and I try to deliver the job I need to do – I’m happy and that’s it.
“Do I think I will still be a Spurs player come the start of the season? Yes – that’s my focus. In football everything can go quickly, but all I’m doing is focusing on Spurs and being fit for the start of the season.”