In light of the news Tottenham target Winston Reid will stay with rivals West Ham long term, Mauricio Pochettino has been forced to explore other central defensive options for the summer.
That renewed search looks to have found a focus already according to reports that Spurs like the look of Belgian international defender Toby Alderweireld – currently on loan at Pochettino’s former club Southampton.
It’s well documented that the Argentine coach would love to pinch highly-regarded midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin from his former employers, but in this case it is Atletico Madrid who have ultimate say.
Southampton do have an option to buy the 26-year-old permanently from the Spanish champions for £6.8m at the end of the current season, though Spurs are aware that they can still muscle in on the deal.
If Atletico believe they can get in the region of £10m for their player, then Los Rojiblancos may well feel compelled to pay the £1.5m required to renege on their agreement with Southampton.
Before suffering a hamstring injury against Manchester United in January which has since kept the centre-back sidelined, Alderweireld had really caught the eye in a Saints shirt this season.
Meanwhile, Spurs go into their Premier League fixture at QPR as warm 5/6 favourites having ended their five-match win drought, but the two goals they conceded during their 3-2 victory over Swansea were the 11th and 12th in just six games.
This would appear to justify the need for Pochettino to invest in this area, with Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches the players most likely to be shifted to make space.
There is also the added attraction that Alderweireld has played for both Ajax and the Belgium national team
alongside first-choice Lilywhites centre-half Jan Vertonghen.
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