Chelsea look set to miss out on one of their main transfer targets this summer, as Tottenham and Southampton prepare to battle it out for Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld.
According to the Daily Star, Mauricio Pochettino has already beaten the Blues as well as his former club in the race to sign the 26-year-old, who spent last year on loan at St Mary’s, as the Belgian decided that there would be more game time on offer at White Hart Lane than there would be at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, the Star suggest that Southampton’s pursuit has come to an end after the La Liga side decided to buy out the future fee clause that accompanied the original loan deal, as they were aware of the interest – and the potential to get more money – from elsewhere.
However, the Daily Mirror have reported that Atletico’s decision to pay £1.5m to stop Ronald Koeman completing a £5.7m deal has not put the side off. In fact, they are so keen to keep the former Ajax man, who formed such a solid partnership alongside Jose Fonte last year, that the Mirror report that they are willing to pay as much as £18m for the defender, which would be a club-record fee.