By Richard Parks
Mauricio Pochettino’s relationship with Toby Alderweireld has been left “strained” by the manager’s reluctance to throw him back into the fray at Tottenham, according to a report.
The Evening Standard claim that Pochettino has been “tetchy” in recent times when discussing the Belgium international, who, in turn, is “frustrated” at not being brought back fully into the fold as he feels he is now able to play regularly.
It is said that Alderweireld’s absence from the Tottenham squad for their 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday, coupled with the latest major development of being left in London for their Champions League clash against Juventus on Tuesday night, has soured relations between manager and player.
The situation has been played out against the backdrop of the 28-year-old’s contract stalemate with the club, who have been trying for a year to tie him to a new deal.
Alderweireld is out of contract in the summer of 2019 and is keen for a new deal that reportedly will bring his current £50,000-a-week earnings in line with Spurs top earners Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris, who are on £100,000-a-week plus contracts.
The Standard claim that Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea are interested in signing him.
Alderweireld is widely hailed as one of the outstanding centre-backs in Europe and has been a bona fide star for Tottenham since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2015.