Sky’s report explains that the Saints had an agreement with the Spanish side that they could complete a permanent move for the 26-year-old for just £6.8m as part of the loan deal that brought him to St. Mary’s last season. Atleti could have bought out this clause for £1.5m, but have apparently now missed a deadline to do so. Should the Rojiblancos now try to sell him to someone else, the South Coast side have threatened legal action.
This means that Chelsea and Tottenham, who had been linked by the London Evening Standard, look unlikely to be able to pick up the Belgian international, in what could prove to be one of the most bizarre transfer twists of the summer.
The talented central defender made 27 appearances for Ronald Koeman’s team in the last campaign, helping them to qualify for the Europa League through their top flight position. This was despite losing several key players and their manager the summer before.
Although he never managed to cement a regular place in the first-team with Atletico Madrid, it looks clear that Alderweireld could be a great signing for any top club this summer, and it would be a massive boost for the Saints if they could still bring him to the club permanently, rather than see him strengthen a rival.