Club Brugge have initiated contacts over the signing of Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham and are determined to secure his signature, a report claims.
Alderweireld has started 18 games for Tottenham this season, but at the age of 32, may be considering a future away from the club. A return to his native Belgium, where he has never played at club level, has been on the cards for some time.
There are still two years left on the defender’s contract with Tottenham. However, his seven years of service to the club might not increase.
Reports back in January suggested that Brugge were interested in Alderweireld, whose father has already hinted that he could move to Belgium in the future.
He ultimately remained in north London for the rest of the season instead. But now, rumours of a return to his homeland are resurfacing.
According to Voetbal24 (via Sport Witness), Brugge still admire Alderweireld and want to sign him. Club president Bart Verhaeghe wants to take advantage of his desire to play in the Jupiler Pro League one day.
Verhaeghe sees an opportunity he does not want to miss, and interest from fellow Belgian side Royal Antwerp could force him into action.
As well as being rivals on the pitch, Verhaeghe is a business rival of Antwerp counterpart Paul Gheysens. Therefore, the Brugge chief wants to do whatever it takes to ensure Alderweireld does not end up at Antwerp.
With that in mind, Brugge have made contact to find out Alderweireld’s intentions. With time still to run on his contract, he will be in no rush to decide his future.
But when the transfer window opens, there could be a choice to make if Brugge come calling.
The report adds that the operation to sign Alderweireld would be expensive for Brugge. But they are willing to make a strong push nonetheless.
Bale clears the air
Meanwhile, another Tottenham star with an uncertain future is Gareth Bale, whose loan spell from Real Madrid ends this summer.
The winger has found his form again recently, but disappointed Spurs fans by saying he would be back in Spain next season.
Now, though, he has clarified those comments, insisting he meant no disrespect to Spurs.
“Obviously, going into next season, legally my contract says I have to go back to Real Madrid,” he said. “That is what I stated, which I don’t think is being disrespectful to anybody. That’s legally what I have to do.
“Real Madrid are I guess my parent club and as far as I agreed I was on Tottenham on loan until the end of the season and I go back. That’s the plan so far.
“The reason I left was because I wanted to play games and get match fit and enjoy my football. Obviously come the summer I will go back to Real Madrid and we’ll go from there.
“I think the plan is to go back and then whether then I sit down with my agent is something we’ll do in the summer.”