Tottenham Hotspur have emerged as the new favourites to land Toby Alderweireld ahead of Premier League rivals Chelsea, who have also been credited with an interest in signing the Atletico Madrid defender this summer.
According to the Sunday Times, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is set to beat Jose Mourinho to the Belgium international's signature, after promising him a regular place in the starting XI at White Hart Lane.
Alderweireld spent the 2014/15 campaign on loan at Southampton from the Vicente Calderon and has shown a desire to move to England's top-flight permanently, although it looks increasingly unlikely he'll form part of Ronald Koeman's squad on the south coast.
Saints are keen to make his move to St Mary's permanent, but it looks as though the 26-year-old has other ideas by negotiating a deal with either a Champions League outfit or another team playing in the Europa League.
Chelsea can offer him the chance to play in Europe's elite club competition, but Alderweireld might struggle to cement his place in the Stamford Bridge line-up, whereas regular action will probably be more realistic in north London.
The opportunity to play alongside Red Devils team-mate Jan Vertonghen at the heart of Spurs' back four could also help improve his chances of being included in Marc Wilmots' national squad for next summer's European Championships.
Koeman deployed Alderweireld at right-back, centre-back and in a slightly more advanced defensive midfield position, so his versatility will be invaluable to his next employers.
For that reason it's surprising Diego Simeone doesn't want to keep the Belgian in Spain next term, although it could be the player's desire to quit Los Rojiblancos after a frustrating experience during 2013/14.
Where do you think would be the best place for Toby Alderweireld next season? Should he sign for Spurs or Chelsea, Southampton or stay at Atletico Madrid? Have your say below...
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