Tottenham trigger Alderweireld extension to fend off interest from Man Utd & Co

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The Belgium international defender, who has been heavily linked with moves away from north London, is now tied to Spurs until the summer of 2020

Tottenham have triggered a 12-month extension option in the contract of Toby Alderweireld, keeping him at the club until 2020.

The Belgium international has been the subject of intense transfer speculation in recent windows, with Manchester United among those said to be keen on securing his services.

Jose Mourinho had made the 29-year-old centre-half a top target over the summer, but was left frustrated in his efforts to get reinforcements through the door at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese has since been relieved of his duties with the Red Devils and Spurs have been able to keep a prized asset on their books.

A statement released on the club’s official website reads: “The club can confirm that we have activated the option to extend Toby Alderweireld’s contract until 2020.

“The Belgium international defender has made 135 appearances for us to date since signing from Atletico Madrid in 2015.

“Capped 88 times by his country, Toby began his professional career with Eredivisie side Ajax before moving to Madrid in 2013.

“His first introduction to the Premier League came during a season-long loan at Southampton in 2014/15 prior to joining us.”

Mauricio Pochettino had revealed towards the end of 2018 that Alderweireld would be seeing a clause in his deal activated.

He told reporters in December when quizzed about an extension: "Yes, for sure. It is obvious. It is the same situation as Jan [Vertonghen]."

With that situation now resolved, Tottenham are free to turn their attention to more pressing matters.

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The January transfer window is now open and reinforcements could be brought in to north London.

Pochettino made no additions to his ranks last summer, but may decide to bolster his ranks over the winter as Spurs endeavour to sustain a challenge for the Premier League title.

Alderweireld and Co. have helped the club into third spot at present, with just six points separating them from table-topping Liverpool following the Reds’ first defeat of the season away at Manchester City on Thursday.