We’ve known for a while now that talks between Toby Alderweireld and Tottenham Hotspur have broken down over a new contract that will keep him in north London past this season. Now, a new report is suggesting exactly what Alderweireld’s representatives are asking of Tottenham in order to earn his signature.
According to a report from Alasdair Gold in football.london, Spurs officials offered Toby a new contract that included wages of £130k/week, but it was turned down because Alderweireld was holding out for “terms closer to £180k/week.”
That’s... pretty nuts. To put that in context, as near as I can tell the highest paid defender in the Premier League is Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, who reportedly now also earns £180k/wk after signing from Southampton in January. The next highest is Manchester City CB Vincent Kompany at £120k/wk. Most of the top paid defenders in the Premier League make at most £100k/wk.
Now, I am not really suggesting that Alderweireld isn’t worth significantly more than what Spurs are paying him now, nor am I suggesting that another club wouldn’t be willing to pay him what he’s asking for in wages. But if this report is correct, it certainly explains why Spurs backed away from talks in January.
£180k/wk would not only blow away Spurs’ existing wage structure (which will probably be revised this summer, but whatever), it would make Toby one of the, if not THE, best paid defender in the world along with Van Dijk. £130k would put him as the second best paid defender in the league, and would be more than fair compensation. If Alderweireld’s representatives are holding out for £180k, I can’t see any way that Daniel Levy would pay it.
I don’t want to be too harsh on Toby. He’s got one big contract left in his career and he seems to be betting the farm that a rich club can come in and give him that payday. That’s fine — he’s really good and he’s earned it. He’s been a good servant to the club and publicly has said all the right things. Go chase that money, Toby. Get paid.
Still, I’m starting to come around to the idea that Toby is a) being frozen out at Tottenham over his wages, and b) that he’s probably going to be sold this summer. It sucks. I love Toby and want him to stay and help take Spurs into their new stadium. But if this is really what it would take to hang on to him, I’m not sure it’s worth the cost, and it’s probably better to cash in now.