Manchester United have effectively been cleared to seal the transfer of Toby Alderweireld if they still want him after quotes from Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
HLN were among the many sources to strongly link the Belgium international with United this summer, though a deal never materialised.
CaughtOffside later learned that United only spoke to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy once this summer, with Ed Woodward vetoing a number of Jose Mourinho’s preferred defensive targets.
So while it may be that Woodward will still be simply unwilling to sanction a deal for Alderweireld, United can have him if they want him as Pochettino has been quoted as saying he won’t force any players to stay at the club if they don’t want to be there.
‘I am not a person who is going to convince players to stay or not stay,’ the Argentine is quoted in the Metro.
‘If they want to leave, they want to leave. The players who don’t want to stay can leave. I’m not going to convince people to stay who don’t want to.’
There certainly still seems to be a strong argument for United to make a move for the 29-year-old, who has been one of the best defenders in Europe in the last few seasons.
Alderweireld was at Old Trafford this week as Tottenham beat Mourinho’s men 3-0 in their Premier League clash, and he put in another solid display to show the Red Devils want they missed out on.
MUFC, by contrast, used Ander Herrera in a back three, and continue to rely on players like Victor Lindelof, who look out of their depth at this level.
United should take note of Pochettino’s words and reconsider their stance on Alderweireld when the transfer window re-opens in January.