Manchester United are reportedly showing a keen interest in Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld.
The Red Devils are closely monitoring the Belgian’s contract situation, as he continues to grows out of manager Mauricio Pochettino’s favour in terms of team selection following his major injury concerns.
According to the report by M.E.N Sport, United boss Jose Mourinho is interested in signing the 28-year-old defender, despite having ‘prioritized a central midfield signing’.
It was claimed that Alderweireld’s current contract situation with Spurs is one of the prime reasons why United are interested in landing the Belgian international.
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Furthermore, Red Devils’ centre-backs Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Marcos Rojo will be out of contract next season, however, a clause specifying an extension for an additional year is stipulated in their deals.
This isn’t the first time Mourinho has shown regard to acquiring a Spurs’ players, with Eric Dier and Danny Rose being the prominent names who were heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford last year.
Meanwhile, Alderweireld would be out of contract in under 18 months, and though his deal includes a one-year extension clause, his current situation at Spurs would certainly attract a lot of interest from clubs all over Europe.
MEN also reported that the Belgian defender hasn’t travelled with the squad to Turin for their Champions League round of 16 first leg clash against Juventus on Tuesday night, despite declaring himself ‘fit and ready’.
Pochettino has explained this omission by claiming that only reason for doing so is to ‘protect’ the defender after his ‘massive injury’.
Pochettino stated: “He is 28 and it was a massive injury that we need to care about. Because we could not put at risk his career. We designed a plan to try to provide him with the best tools to recover as soon as possible and be stronger than before.
“In that period that he started to work with the team, under our judgment, he needs to build his fitness slowly. He needs to work hard. To play this type of game [against Juve] you need to be 200 percent.
“Of course we are sorry for him because when you miss some games like Arsenal or the Champions League, and we work a lot to play this type of game, I can understand that. We are frustrated too because, when you cannot play, it is difficult to accept.
“But I think in front, in his career, is, of course, a very important game but, sure he is going to have the opportunity and be strong after the injury, but we need to apply our common sense and be careful in the way that we are going to use him in the first few weeks after he is fit for training.”