Toby Alderweireld says deep down he always wanted to stay at Tottenham, but only after Jose Mourinho’s arrival did talks run “smoothly”.
The 31-year-old centre-back was in the final year of contract this season, and under Mauricio Pochettino, looked destined to move on this summer.
But a month after Mourinho’s arrival in November the Belgium defender committed his future to Spurs by signing a new deal that runs until 2023.
And in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad via Sport Witness Alderweireld says he was always “open” to an extension with Spurs.
When probed what the first thing Mourinho asked him was, Alderweireld said: “Do you want to sign? [Mourinho asked and] I said yes, why not? That’s how the ball started rolling.
“I have always been open to an extension, but only with the arrival of Mourinho, the negotiations went smoothly. I am happy with my extension. The more I went to the end of my contract, the more choices I got. But the more I got the feeling: I really just want to stay.
“In itself, I could earn much more elsewhere. I could have opted for a new adventure. I could have said that after five years and the Champions League final… maybe it was the right time for a new step.
“But the more I thought about it, the less I felt like leaving. I also take other things into account. The relationship with the fans, for example. Or my family, who are happy here. Ultimately, one plus one plus one plus one gave me the feeling that I had to sign [an extension].”