According to Miguel Delaney, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho still wants Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld, but the two clubs are still at loggerheads over Alderweireld’s price. Writing in the Independent, Delaney claims that United still thinks there’s hope that an agreement can be reached before the close of the transfer window, but that there’s a £10m difference in valuation between United and Spurs.
Alderweireld is still considered to be the ideal type of defender for Jose Mourinho’s system, which is why Mou is so adamant in his pursuit of the Belgian before the window slams shut on August 9.
One argument put forward by those close to Mourinho is that he can’t yet fully commit to more expansive football because he hasn’t had the defensive framework he fully trusts – because he hasn’t had centre-halves he fully trusts.
One irritation for Mourinho in this window has been United’s inability to sell players such players, and that becomes even greater a problem when the club’s transfer expenditure is now linked to transfer income as is this case, and has played at least some part in the refusal so far to meet Tottenham Hotspur’s valuation of Alderweireld. There is said to be a difference of £10m, with negotiations naturally influenced by the player’s contract clause.
—Miguel Delaney, The Independent
This makes sense. Daniel Levy knows that if he’s not sold Alderweireld can leave the club for £25m at the end of next season. That strengthen’s United’s bargaining position, but it doesn’t mean that Levy’s going to let Toby go for cheap, either.
Delaney also couches this particular transfer saga for United in similar terms to how Spurs fans are describing their own transfer window: as a frustrating failure, with this particular deal one way of salvaging the entire window. United have signed Brazilian midfielder Fred, and 19-year old fullback Diogo Dalot, and their fans are about as enthusiastic about their transfers as we are about ours.
It also makes United’s refusal to negotiate for Anthony Martial all the more infuriating, as some sort of player-for-player arrangement is the most obvious solution. In the end it would be somewhat hilarious if Ed Woodward, director of a club with as much money as any in the world, isn’t able to somehow come up with an extra £10m for a player that Mourinho seems to desperately want.