By Wayne Veysey

26th Feb, 2018 | 5:27pm

Tottenham ace would make brilliant Liverpool signing amid Sky pundit claim phone calls have begun

COMMENT By Richard Parks
If Paul Merson is to be believed, Liverpool have already started attempts at prising Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham this summer.
While the outspoken Sky Sports pundit might not have the hotline to Boston and the Merseyside giants’ powerbrokers, he knows his onions and must be taken seriously.
Merson is convinced that the Merseyside giants will have joined Manchester United and about 10 clubs in total in the race to land the Spurs centre-back.
This comes after reports stated that Mauricio Pochettino has given the green light for Tottenham to sell Alderweireld this summer after talks over a new contract reached a deadlock.
The Belgian defender’s current deal expires at the end of next season and it has a £25million release clause that will only become active in the summer of 2019 if Tottenham choose to trigger a one-year extension to his contract.
Merson told Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday programme on 24th February: “The Tottenham players if he lets go, and I think his clause is £25million, which is a cup of tea for someone of his standard, the players will be in the dressing room going ‘where are we going? Where are we going if we are letting one of the best centre-halves in the world go?’
“I bet you his agent has 10 calls already from people like Man United and Liverpool.
“Jose Mourinho would have been ringing his agent up going ‘do not sign, I’ll give you £200,000-a-week’.”
What a brilliant signing Alderweireld would be for Liverpool. Or, indeed, any other team.
The Belgian’s contract talks have reached a deadlock over his pay demands and his exit this summer is increasingly inevitable, as it is the last time that Spurs can secure a £50million-plus fee that reflects his market value as one of the planet’s premier centre-backs.
Liverpool would have to spend big to get the 28-year-old but they have showed they are not afraid of doing so after forking out a club-record £75million to sign Virgil van Dijk last month.
Alderweireld’s form in recent seasons has been superlative and, indeed, Van Dijk, who has made a mightily impressive start to his Anfield career, cannot claim to have been at the same level.
The Dutchman’s reported £180,000-a-week wages have set a new baseline for top defenders and who can blame the Spurs man for looking at that with a trace of envy, especially as he knows Tottenham will never match it.
If you can’t beat them, join them, as the old maxim goes.
In other Tottenham news, it can be revealed the club are working on deals to sign up FIVE players, with three agreements virtually nailed on.
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