Chelsea are reportedly plotting a surprise raid for Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld at the end of the current campaign. The Belgium international has barely featured for Spurs since his recovery from a hamstring injury in February and his position at the club remains in doubt beyond the summer.
According to The Sun, the Blues are looking to take advantage of Alderweireld’s contractual situation in order to lure him to Stamford Bridge. The versatile defender presently has just 14 months left on his existing deal but his reluctance to extend his contract has seemingly put Spurs in a predicament.
As per The Sun, the Blues are prepared to lodge a bid of around £45m for the former Ajax graduate and this may entice Spurs into a sale despite the rivalry between the London clubs. Mauricio Pochettino’s side do have the option of triggering a 12-month extension clause in Alderweireld’s contract but this would, in turn, activate a £25m release clause which would stay active for 14 days after the close of the 2018/19 season.
Apart from Chelsea, there has also been interest from the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City but the latter appear to have ended their pursuit following their club-record signing of Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao during the January transfer window.
Alderweireld has been key towards Spurs’ progress over the past couple of seasons where he has emerged as the regular partner to compatriot Jan Vertonghen. However, during his period on the sidelines this term, summer signing Davinson Sanchez has impressed at the heart of the defence to the extent that Pochettino has stuck with the Colombian following Alderweireld’s comeback.
The Belgian’s current contract standoff with Spurs may have also hampered his chances of gaining regular playing time and it appears that Pochettino wants a settled backline for the 2018/19 campaign and beyond. Alderweireld has made three starts for Tottenham Hotspur since the turn of the year and just one of those have come in the top-flight.