Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed in the Daily Echo that Toby Alderweireld wants to stay at St. Mary's after his loan spell expires.
Southampton are known to be keen on keeping Alderweireld at the club, but they face difficulty as Atletico Madrid feel he could enhance their own starting line-up next season and are reportedly loathed to sell him.
They also have the added complication of having to fend off interest from Tottenham Hotspur, which the Telegraph have reported, but Koeman is still optimistic of landing the defender.
"I'm confident because the player likes to stay - but he's still the player of Atletico Madrid and that's the difficulty," he said.
“He’s been a very good part of our defence. He's still young with a great future in front of him, he's always good in position, very comfortable on the ball and good in his passing. He didn’t play a lot in Spain but now he’s playing more regularly and is developing.”
Alderweireld has been a key part of Southampton's team this season and if they are able to secure him on a permanent deal it would be a major boost.
The Saints had to deal with losing a lot of their key players last summer, so if they were able to secure the futures of the standout members of their squad this time around, it would be a statement of their intent.
Southampton have put together a brilliant campaign under the guidance of Koeman and it would be disheartening if they were unable to keep hold of their main talents for the 2015/16 campaign.
It means that the end of the season will be crucial for Koeman's side, as if they are able to claim a European spot, then their chances of keeping hold of their better talents look greatly increased.