Gianluca Petrachi, director of Serie A outfit AS Roma, has this evening provided an insight into the club’s pursuit of Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld.
Alderweireld, a 30-year-old Belgian international, has been on the books of Spurs since making the move to London from Atletico Madrid in 2015.
The no-nonsense stopper caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs with his stellar showings during a loan spell with Southampton during the 2014-15 campaign, with Tottenham having eventually splashed out a fee of around £12 million to secure his services.
And Alderweireld has since gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as one of the English top-flight’s finest defenders over the last couple of seasons.
Alderweireld contract dispute
However, in a saga that has been dragging on for some time now, Spurs’ attempts to tie their star defender down to a new contract in the English capital have proven completely unfruitful, with little to no progress having been made to this point.
Alderweireld’s Tottenham contract was originally due to expire this summer.
The north Londoners, though, exercised an option last December to extend the Belgian’s deal by another year:
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 27, 2018
Significantly, however, this decision saw Alderweireld’s release clause drop to just £25 million, until July 26th.
As such, links between the experienced stopper and a number of European heavyweights have since inevitably been forthcoming.
The last couple of weeks, though, have seen a new favourite emerge in the race for the Belgian’s services.
The outfit in question are Serie A giants AS Roma.
Recent reports have even suggested that a swap deal involving Alderweireld and Giallorossi starlet Nicolo Zaniolo could be on the cards.
‘Happy if we could sign him tomorrow’
As such, when speaking to the media this evening, Roma chief Gianluca Petrachi was inevitably drawn on his side’s rumoured pursuit of Alderweireld, as well as reports that former Spurs and Roma director Franco Baldini is acting as an intermediary in negotiations, in an attempt to aid the latter’s pursuit.
And Petrachi went on to explain:
‘Baldini can be a resource for us.’
‘I realise there is a release clause for Alderweireld, but Baldini has a strong rapport with Spurs directors, he worked there for many years and can support Roma in signing Alderweireld.’
‘If you want to say that Baldini negotiates on our behalf, then that is incorrect. I want it to be clear that he is of support to Roma and in the specific case of Alderweireld is an idea to help us save a bit of money. We’d be happy if we could sign him tomorrow without paying the release clause.’
‘I don’t like to talk about specific players, but obviously with Ivan Marcano and Kostas Manolas sold, we need two centre-backs and that is the priority. We are working on several fronts and have clear ideas on what we intend to do.’
Quotes via Goal