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Sky: Roma director Baldini in London to discuss Toby Alderweireld transfer

This seems weird!

Belgium v Scotland - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Photo by Frank Abbeloos/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

A quick transfer rumor update as we careen through the month of July. According to Sky Sports Italy, AS Roma Director of Football (and former Tottenham Hotspur technical director under Andre Villas-Boas) Franco Baldini is apparently in London right now to discuss the potential transfer of Spurs’ Belgian central defender Toby Alderweireld.

So this is a weird one. Toby’s £25m release clause is well known and it seems as though he might be used as a way for Spurs to finance the purchase of Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, but shipping Alderweireld to Roma doesn’t, at first glance, appear to be the “big payday” that Toby seemed to want, and that caused him to reject a contract extension from Spurs.

The Italian newspapers all confirm that Roma is interested, but according to Sport Witness most of them think they can get Toby for significantly cheaper than his release clause due to his contract expiring next summer — Gazetta dello Sport reports that Toby could be had for as little as €12m, a figure that made Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur laugh.

Terreur did suggest on Twitter that Roma, which advertises after-tax wages, could offer Alderweireld more in wages than what he’s making now at Spurs, but it’s hardly the huge bump that he was looking for last year when negotiations with Tottenham were taking place in earnest.

I really have no idea what Baldini and Roma’s play is here, if he actually is in London to discuss Toby. Obviously Spurs would rather sell him now and get the £25m for him than let him run down his contract and leave on a Bosman next summer, but Roma seems like a really weird destination for him. On the other hand, it doesn’t appear that the big-money clubs are ready to pay him what he wants and it doesn’t look like another Spurs contract is on the cards, so moving to Italy might be the best deal he can get.

We’ll be tracking this one carefully over the next few days.