Could Alderweireld solve Man United’s defensive problems?

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Manchester United are likely to spend big this summer to try and close the gap on Manchester City.

One area they’ll be keen to strengthen is central defence. Even though United have only conceded 19 league goals, there are question marks over their options in that position.

The injured Eric Bailly is the only centre-back in the squad that looks up to scratch. Marcos Rojo can be rash and Victor Lindelof has looked overawed since his summer arrival.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were liabilities in the 1-0 loss to Newcastle United last week. The odds suggest the England pair could be off in the summer. Jones is even-money to join Arsenal and Smalling’s 11/10 to sign for Everton.

One player United are reported to be monitoring is Toby Alderweireld. The Tottenham Hotspur star has been one of the best defenders in the Premier League over the last few years.

He’s strong, determined and one of the best around at spraying long passes from the back.

But his contract has a £25m release clause that comes into effect next summer. That would be a bargain for a player of his quality.

If the 28-year-old doesn’t sign a new deal soon, Tottenham could be tempted to cash in at the end of this season rather than risk losing him for a cut-price fee.

Alderweireld may also fancy a change of scene if Spurs don’t make a major challenge for silverware in the next few months.

His Premier League experience and consistent displays mean he’d be a great addition for United. As long as he doesn’t sign a new deal, this one could rumble on for a while.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Daniel Anwar

Daniel has covered sports for Squawka, FourFourTwo and iSportconnect. He is a naively optimistic Arsenal fan and is also passionate about music, film and chicken wings.