It’s been a fairly quiet week so far for Tottenham Hotspur, and the pessimists in all of us usually say by midweek that it’s too quiet. Well, here it is Thursday evening and suddenly there’s a whole lot going on at Hotspur Way that needs to be discussed. Instead of giving you multiple articles, you’re getting the ultra rare TRANSFER UPDATE ARTICLE that we all dread writing here.
Let’s start with easily the worst news of the day coming from Matt Hughes at The Times. According to the London outlet, Spurs have made their final offer to center back Toby Alderweireld, reportedly at £110k/week plus bonuses and add-ons. Let’s look at the meat and potatoes of this article to see how bad it is.
The Belgium defender is understood to be demanding a deal worth £150,000 a week, a salary that Tottenham will not countenance paying to a player who turns 29 next week, leading the club to explore a sale at the end of the season.
Mauricio Pochettino has backed the club’s decision, as the head coach accepts their strict wage structure and would rather use the money to strengthen other areas of the squad. Tottenham’s final offer to Alderweireld during talks last month is understood to have been £110,000 a week including bonuses, which would make him one of the highest-paid players at the club, although that will be surpassed if, as expected, Harry Kane and Dele Alli sign improved deals at the end of the season.
Okay, there’s a lot to unwrap there, but Hughes is confirming what we’ve all feared since last summer when we heard Toby and his agent were playing hardball. At the time, the hang-up wasn’t about the wages but was about the inclusion of a release clause that the Belgian International insisted on having. Hughes points out why Spurs are painted into a corner with the current contract.
Alderweireld’s situation is complicated by the nature of his contract, which is due to expire in 2019 but has a clause that enables the club to extend it by 12 months. However, the same clause also allows Alderweireld to leave next summer for £25.4 million before the final 14 days of the transfer window, so the end of this season represents Spurs’ last chance to achieve his full market value, which would be more than £50 million. Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid are among the clubs monitoring the situation.
That clause really is the biggest problem. If that clause wasn’t in place, Spurs probably trigger that extension and whatever raise came with it. Of course, any club with a pulse would be on the phone with Toby’s agent immediately after to buy him for such a paltry release clause.
Going back to the first chunk of the article, it’s mentioned that both Harry Kane and Dele Alli are looking at getting improved deals at the end of the season. This isn’t surprising, but to see it on paper from a reliable source should ease tensions a bit among supporters hoping not to lose the two young attackers.
Hughes isn’t done by a long shot, though. Here’s the next excerpt regarding Alderweireld’s status:
Tottenham would prefer to keep Alderweireld, but are not prepared to risk writing off more than £25 million or upsetting the rest of the dressing room by giving him the deal that he is asking for. The club are also negotiating contract extensions with Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min, and cannot afford to pay them all in excess of £150,000 [per week.]
Alderweireld has just returned from three months out with a hamstring injury and faces a battle to get back into Pochettino’s first team. He has so far been restricted to FA Cup appearances against Newport County and Rochdale.
This makes sense on paper. Spurs have to make sure the attacking band is in place and happy. If Levy is going to extend Kane, Alli, Sonny, and Eriksen then Toby may just be the odd man out in this situation. Whether or not the three months he’s missed this season is a factor isn’t really discussed other than the excerpt above and it’s probably unfair to suggest that his form just coming back is a reason. He needs time to get back into the swing of things. Of course, newcomer Davinson Sanchez has more than impressed this season and is showing to be a capable starter for Tottenham.
Continuing on this road of doom and gloom...
Tottenham’s offer to Alderweireld would more than double his £50,000-a-week wages, but the player believes that he deserves a contract comparable to that of Virgil van Dijk, who is on £180,000 a week at Liverpool.
I have no problem saying, even as a Spurs supporter, than Toby is better than VVD. However, VVD is three years younger and Pool are obviously able to splash more cash than Spurs can. I’m also firmly in the club of “Liverpool overpaid for VVD” so there’s that. Hughes points out that Spurs would be more than doubling Toby’s £50k/week wage currently, which makes my head spin every time I read it and realize just how cheaply Spurs bought him from Atletico Madrid.
When you add it all up, there is plenty of smoke with this potential fire. Toby turns 29 next week, and when he’s at 100%, is arguably the best center back in the league. Our writer’s room started discussing just how much validity there is to it. Putting a rating on it, we’re somewhere at the end of the five stages of grief. Toby will command a big fee this summer, especially with the World Cup giving him a chance to show his talents to all of Europe.
If you want to go tinfoil hat like some of us did, though, we’re looking at the report earlier that Ex-Fulham player Leroy Rosenior says that a deal is done for Ryan Sessegnon to move and it’s probably Tottenham. Fulham are going to demand a massive fee, probably upwards of £40m, and if Toby is going to sell for the same range....well, you can put two and two together.
So, wrapping all of this up, here’s a quick TL;DR for you:
- Spurs are probably selling Toby this summer due to wage demands.
- Kane, Dele, Son, Eriksen, and Vertonghen are all looking at extensions by season’s end.
- Chelsea, United, and Real Madrid are all in for Toby, who is valued at £50m.
- Apparently Sessegnon’s deal is done and Leroy Rosenior believes it’s Tottenham who have won the race.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to cry into my spurple Toby kit for awhile.