In one of the strangest developments of the summer transfer window, it seems Manchester United have decided not to pursue the bargain signing of Toby Alderweireld.
The Belgium international has been one of the finest centre-backs in Europe in recent times and would so obviously be a major upgrade on flops like Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at Old Trafford.
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Alderweireld has been a rock-solid performer at Tottenham, while Man Utd conceded 54 goals as they finished sixth in the Premier League last season – their worst goals-against record since the competition began in 1992.
It was claimed earlier in the summer that some figures at United were keen on Alderweireld, though the Sun reported that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself was against the deal.
This is despite the 30-year-old being available for a £25million buy-out clause, which Sky Sports claim expires this Thursday.
They note that Roma have been linked with the player, and that perhaps seems the more likely destination for him if he does leave, though Sky suggest staying at Spurs actually now seems the most probable outcome.
Meanwhile, United look set to splash the cash on Harry Maguire to fix their defence as the Independent claim a deal is edging closer, though he’ll be a great deal more expensive at around £80m including add-ons, while it’s questionable if he’s actually any better.
If MUFC do decide to change their minds, they don’t have long now to get Alderweireld in on the cheap for what is surely the more sensible move.