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Toby Alderweireld indicates he will stay at Tottenham as clock ticks down to expiration of £25m release clause

James Ducker
Toby Alderweireld was made him captain for Tottenham's 3-2 win over Juventus - Getty Images AsiaPac

Toby Alderweireld has given the clearest indication yet that he will still be playing with Tottenham Hotspur next season, despite the threat of a rival club making a late move for the defender.

The Belgium centre-half has a clause in his contract which stipulates that Tottenham must sanction his sale if a club lodges a £25 million bid by Thursday - a fortnight before the close of the transfer window.

The clause was activated when Spurs invoked an option to extend Alderweireld’s contract by 12 months until the end of next season but, while the 30 year-old cannot discount a potential suitor swooping before this week’s deadline, he says he is not targeting a move.

Alderweireld cited Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to make him captain for Tottenham’s 3-2 win over Juventus in Singapore on Sunday as evidence of his commitment to the club.

Asked if he expects to still be a Tottenham player come the start of the season, Alderweireld - who has attracted interest from Manchester United among others over the past year - said: “Yes. That’s my focus in football. Everything can go quick but all I’m doing is focusing on Spurs and being fit for the start of the season.

Toby Alderweireld (left) in action against Juventus in a pre-season friendly Credit: epa

“I think the manager [Mauricio Pochettino] knows I am committed to the club and the team but you never know in football. A game like [Juventus] I was captain - so that shows the manager has trust in me and I’m showing the right attitude.

“Again, it [a club triggering the clause] can happen but my focus is on Spurs and in my head I will be playing for Spurs.

“I try to deliver the job I need to do – I’m happy and that’s it. I try to come back fit. Of course, everyone has had a good holiday but like [against Juventus] we showed, we are where we want to be at the moment.”

United are trying to secure a deal for Harry Maguire but, with the club so far unwilling to meet Leicester’s £90m valuation of the England centre-half, it remains to be seen if they decide to pursue alternative targets if there is not a breakthrough soon. Spurs face United in the International Champions Cup in Shanghai on Thursday.

Toby Alderweireld (left) stretches with his Tottenham team-mates Credit: epa

Despite the uncertainty over his future, Alderweireld has never allowed his concentration to wander. “Because from day one I do what I need to do. I am happy,” he said. “I think that is the way the manager wants us to play, to give everything to the team and work hard and that’s it. I am here I work hard and do what needs to be done.

“It’s tough because pre-season is tough. I do my best like in every club I’ve been at. From day one I do my best.”

Meanwhile, Hugo Lloris has left Tottenham’s pre-season tour of Asia in order to return to London to continue his recovery from tonsilitis.

The Spurs goalkeeper missed the Juventus game after being struck down with the illness on Friday and it was decided it was in his best interests to return home.