By Richard Parks
Toby Alderweireld has reportedly been left out of the Tottenham squad for their Champions League first leg tie against Juventus – and fans have taken to Twitter to express their concern.
The Telegraph claim that the Belgium international, 28, will not travel with the Spurs party when they leave England for Turin on Monday for their biggest match of the season to date.
It is said that he has been omitted from the squad selected by Mauricio Pochettino to enable him to work on his fitness even though he made his comeback last Wednesday in the 2-0 FA Cup replay win against League Two minnows Newport County.
Alderweireld’s absence has raised doubts about his future as negotiations over a new contract drag on.
The defender has a deal that runs until 2020 but the Telegraph report that his contract features “a £25 million release clause that could be activated in the summer of 2019.”
All of which means that, if a new deal can’t be agreed, Spurs may be forced to cash-in on their defender before then, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid all circling.
Tottenham fans on social media are perplexed as to why Alderweireld is not even in the squad after making his comeback from the injury that sidelined him for three months.
The Telegraph point out that they “will be concerned that a similar scenario that saw Kyle Walker leave Tottenham last summer could be playing out with Alderweireld”.
Walker asked to leave the club and was subsequently left out of a number of big games last season before being sold to Manchester City for £50million.
Supporters called for chairman Daniel Levy to end the contract stalemate with Alderweireld as some predicted the player’s exit is now inevitable.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
FFS, sort it out Levy.
— Dan (@DanW400) February 11, 2018
He’ll be back when Poch believes he’s fully fit. There’s still a lot to play for and with the team performing admirably in his absence these is no need to rush him back.
— Joe (@Joe_DMB) February 11, 2018
Not quite sure what’s going on here!
— Disco Volante ♾ (@victorfleming16) February 12, 2018
???????????????? he’s not match fit it’s that simple .
— Shaz (@Mrdebub) February 12, 2018
— Tahir Iqbal (@Tahir_E17) February 12, 2018
As a spurs fan, I’m telling you now. Toby will leave.
— SpursGuy (@thespursguy) February 11, 2018
As a Spurs fan, I’m telling you now. Toby will only leave if he doesn’t get a decent new contract. Not because he’s being eased back after a hamstring injury for which they decided not to move to surgery. The club doesn’t want to rush him back obviously.
— FreddieWho? (@FredericLR) February 11, 2018