Toby Alderweireld, the Belgium international defender who has spent the season on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid, has told BBC Sport that the Premier League club are at the front of the queue for his permanent signature and wants his future settled quickly.
Alderweireld had only been at Atletico for a year before leaving for the Saints, joining from Ajax in the summer of 2013 and failing to win a regular starting place under Diego Simeone as Los Colchoneros reached the final of the Champions League, losing to Real Madrid, and won La Liga, beating Madrid and Barcelona to the title.
It’s believed Southampton can sign Alderweireld for just under £7m but the loan agreement also states Atleti can pay Southampton close to £2m to cancel that clause and sell the centre-back elsewhere, an option they may exercise if they believe they can get more than £7m for him.
Atletico could also choose to keep Alderweireld if they pay the fee and while he would be willing to remain at Southampton for the long-term, Alderweireld adds he just wants to know at which club he’ll be playing next year. “Southampton are in a good position because I know the club,” the 26-year-old said in a BBC radio interview.
“They are very good to me. I did a great job for them as well so we have a good connection. I really like the Premier League,” he added. “If Atletico want me back I have to listen. I can’t give the answer, I really don’t know.
“It’s difficult for me in my head,” Alderweireld continued. “Where am I going to live? Where am I going to play? I just don’t know which way it is going to go. I hope it gets settled quite quickly so I can go into the summer and get prepared with the team I am going to play for.”
Get upto £200 in free matched bets with bet365 - Click here to find out more