Spurs’ refusal to compromise their policy on wages may result in the sale of one of their best players.
Toby Alderweireld’s future in north London is in doubt with the Times claiming negotiations over a new contract have reached a deadlock.
The Belgian centre-back has just 18 months left on his existing deal with and is demanding a significant pay rise before committing his long-term future.
Alderweireld is understood to be asking for a deal worth around £150,000-a-week, which he feels is the going rate for a player of his standing.
It is reported that Spurs will not go above £110,000-a-week as they are determined to keep a lid on wages, in accordance with their long-standing policy.
It’s possible that the club fear that giving in to Alderweireld’s demands could lead to similar demands from the other key players in the squad.
Though he has 18 months left on the contract, Spurs have a clause where they can activate a further 12-month option to keep him until 2020.
But the situation is complicated further by the fact there is another agreement in place which would allow Alderweireld to leave next summer for £25.4million if that option was taken up.
That would leave the club vulnerable to losing a player well below his real market value – which at current prices would be at least £50m.
And with some of Europe’s biggest clubs all showing an interest in the Belgian, that leaves Alderweireld in a strong bargaining position.
Spurs now face the likelihood of selling arguably the Premier League’s best defender this summer.
The club’s commitment to their policy must be commended but finding a player to replace Alderweireld without weakening the squad will be a difficult task.