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Tottenham expects to complete £10m defender signing despite Southampton lawsuit

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Despite muddying the waters, Southampton's stink over Toby Alderweireld is unlikely to prevent him signing for Spurs.

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Despite some legal concerns that emerged yesterday, Tottenham Hotspur is expected to complete the transfer of Belgian center back Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid. According to the Standard, the player is currently in London to finish things up and that the deal can proceed as planned despite Southampton threatening legal action.

The deal between Atletico Madrid and Tottenham for Alderweireld is said to be for five years for a fee of £10m with an additional £1.5m in performance-based add-ons. The defender will make £50,000/week as his base salary.

Yesterday, reports emerged that Southampton were threatening legal action over the sale of Alderweireld to Spurs. The club believed Atletico did not announce in time their intention to cancel a pre-existing deal, part of Alderweireld's loan to Southampton last season, that would have sold him to Soton for £6.8m. Details were mazy enough that no one was sure what it meant: speculation ranged from the deal being delayed in legal proceedings to its outright scuppering.

However, according to the Standard nothing in the agreement prevents Alderweireld from completing his deal with Spurs, and the club is free to do so for the agreed-upon fee. Toby prefers to sign with Spurs so that he can play alongside his Belgian teammates, and Southampton's agreement with Atletico Madrid has nothing to do whatsoever with Tottenham. Since Atletico Madrid agreed to sell the player to Spurs, even if Madrid were to accept the competing bid from Southampton it would ultimately come down to where Toby wants to play. All indications are it's at Tottenham.

Southampton may indeed pursue legal action, but against Atletico Madrid and not Spurs. The article suggests that Soton might be appeased by either compensation from the Spanish club, or possibly another loan of an Atletico player this season.

In summary, Tottenham has done nothing wrong, and legally is in the clear. Southampton is (rightfully) angry that a player of Alderweireld's caliber has been snatched from under them, but any grievance they have is with Atletico, who made the deal to sell Toby, and not Spurs. Therefore, it looks like yesterday's kerfluffle probably won't do much to block the signing, meaning Toby Alderweireld will very soon be a member of Tottenham Hotspur. The only casualty of this signing is likely to be Morgan Schnedierlin, as after this it seems very, very unlikely that Southampton will consent to sell the central midfielder to Spurs.

The source for the Standard article was clearly the club, who was trying to dispel misinformation and put the organization in a more positive light. This was very good PR and it seems to have cleared the waters surrounding this transfer, though Southampton probably won't agree.