Spurs fear they could now lose Toby Alderweireld for nothing next summer.

The club have been willing to listen to offers for the 30-year-old Belgian whose £25million release clause expired two weeks before the transfer deadline. But no serious bid has been forthcoming.

Alderweireld now has a year left on his contract and is understood to be ready to run his last 12 months down in order to determine his own future.

It would mean he is able to field offers from foreign clubs in January and walk away at the end of the season.

Roma have been the only club interested this summer but failed to meet the £25m fee and are unlikely now to come up with an acceptable offer before Europe’s September 2 deadline.


Alderweireld, who made 50 appearances across several competitions last season, has continually maintained he is focused only on his football.

But Spurs will be keen to get a fee for him instead of allowing him to leave on a free transfer.

Meanwhile Mauricio Pochettino believes Spurs are now ready to punch their weight with the Premier League big boys after their impressive improvement behind the scenes.

The north Londoners’ new stadium is arguably the best in Europe to match their outstanding training facilities.

Having broken their transfer record for £65million Tanguy Ndombele, swiftly followed up by their move for Giovani Lo Celso, Pochettino insists he has a squad now ready to take on the best.

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“People do not realize all that is going on at this club for five years,” he told ESPN Brazil. “There was a five year period which was a huge challenge.

“Also what is coming now is a challenge, because once the stadium or the sports city are over, we are also thrilled to [compete for], win and lift titles.

“We’re close, we went against all odds, because nobody took us like a real team that was going to fight for great things, great competitions. But we have reached that level and the challenge is to keep it.”



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