Manchester United target Toby Alderweireld has edged closer to the Tottenham Hotspur exit door after attacking the club for not playing him last season.
A move away from North London has been on the cards for some time, with the Belgian arriving at a disagreement with the club over wage demands.
Mauricio Pochettino has consequently ostracised him from the first team and Jose Mourinho, in turn, has made his interest in the defender known.
Speaking soon after arriving back from Belgium’s World Cup campaign in Russia, Alderweireld did not pull any punches when talking about his current employers.
“I was very focused on this tournament,” he said.
“I wanted to prove something to me, show that the period before the tournament in which I – for whatever reason – did not play, it was unjustified.
“I wanted to show that I’m still Toby, same as in November.”
Man United pulled away from any deal involving Alderweireld after Spurs, and Daniel Levy specifically, demanded £75m for his services, which was deemed far too high for a player with only one year left on his contract.
In that respect, Spurs will want to sell in the summer. But his wage demands and the fee continue to be obstacles. His time under Pochettino, who now prefers Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez, is almost certainly over, leaving the door open for Mourinho to snap him up before the window shuts.
Plenty of discussions – and a significant lowering of the transfer fee – need to happen in the meantime. Supporters will hope to see Ed Woodward get a deal done.