Manchester United, the Premier League runners-up last season, made one centre-back as their topmost priority this summer and despite missing out on Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, they are finally closing in on veteran Toby Alderweireld, a contract rebel at Spurs, who might finally experience a new challenge after three impressive seasons in North London.
As per reports from Mirror Football, the Red Devils are likely to strike a deal worth around £60m within next 48 hours. The 29-year-old Belgian international had a contract dispute last season as the management were not willing to meet his wage demands and the player, currently tied down until 2020, opted to run down his contract over signing a new deal. Jose Mourinho, the United gaffer, reiterated his desire of strengthening the backline and Leicester’s determination of keeping hold of one of England’s World Cup heroes forced him to switch sights elsewhere. Yerry Mina, the outcast Colombian of Barcelona, was also being monitored, but Alderweireld’s expertise in Premier League football makes him an invaluable addition to Mourinho’s armoury.
Both Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have not done enough to convince the gaffer and secure a first-team role week in week out whereas the inconsistency of Chris Smalling has been a worrying sign. Marcos Rojo, linked to a move to Everton, seems not to be in Mourinho’s plans and veteran Phil Jones, although rock solid and resilient, has struggled to remain fit all throughout in recent past. Alderweireld, although missed out months of football last season with an alleged hamstring strain, delivered a towering display in Belgium’s impressive World Cup run and holds the leadership traits deep down the backline that United lacked under Mourinho in past two campaigns.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, known as a notorious negotiator, demanded a fee of around £75m for his star centre-back but should accept the offered sum over losing the ex-Ajax, Atletico Madrid and Ajax player for a significantly low price next year. Alderweireld, also keen on a new challenge, will thrive to play in Old Trafford and offer them a massive lift in title dream reclaiming the lost glory.