Manchester United are expected to reignite their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld, according to a report in the Daily Express. The Belgium international, who will begin a truncated holiday after Saturday’s third place play-off with England, was initially the subject of a £40m bid in an effort to seal his services prior to this summer’s World Cup. However, as has frequently been the case, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy dug his heels in and demanded a fee of £55m, which United baulked at due to the player’s age of 29, and the length of this current contract.
However, with Alderweireld soon to be free from international duty, and the Premier League season barely a month away, it appears as if United are keen to resurrect a deal for the central defender. Mourinho is apparently keen to add Premier League experience and quality to his backline, which would certainly make sense if he wishes to further the development of both Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. The pair, both bought by Mourinho from Benfica and Villareal respectively have struggled for opportunities under Mourinho, and could potentially benefit from a player of Alderweireld’s level and knowledge at the top level.
It appears as if there will be no potential centre back exits until United are able to bring in another first, which is something of a dangerous game. There have been no rumours of a deal to take Chris Smalling or Phil Jones, presumably the club’s most at-risk options in the role away from Old Trafford so far this summer, but if Mourinho is seriously harbouring doubts over the ability of his available centre backs, and Spurs’ valuation doesn’t rise to an unreasonable level, then this appears to be a deal that United could complete. Still, given Levy’s history as a notoriously tough negotiator, time will tell.