Koeman claims Alderweireld wants Southampton move, reports suggest imminent Tottenham deal

Toby Alderweireld

Ronald Koeman remains hopeful of keeping Toby Alderweireld at Southampton.

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has told the club's official YouTube channel that he still wants to sign Toby Alderweireld permanently.

The Belgian international defender, 26, spent last season on loan at Southampton having failed to make an impact with Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone.

Alderweireld rediscovered his best form under Koeman, producing displays reminiscent of his success at Ajax before that move to Spain - and naturally, the Saints want to keep him on the South Coast permanently.

However, the London Evening Standard report that Alderweireld today arrived in London to complete the formalities of a deal which would see him join Southampton's Premier League rivals Tottenham, much to Southampton's frustration - with Sky Sports suggesting that the Saints could even take legal action after Atletico reneged on a permanent deal with Southampton.

Southampton boss Koeman spoke to the media today ahead of the club's pre-season trip to Austria, and not only did he admit that he wants to keep Alderweireld, but he also suggested that the player also wants to stay - despite reports to the contrary.

"Southampton signed an option for the player, and Atletico Madrid tried to buy back the option, but it was too late," said Koeman. "What happened with Tottenham in the middle, I don't know. Seriously, I don't know. Les Reed is working on that situation and I await more news about that situation with Toby. We want him back, of course, and the player told us the same," he added.

Lovren fears?

Last summer, Southampton lost a star centre back to a perceivably 'bigger club', with Dejan Lovren signing for Liverpool after just one impressive season for the Saints.

Croatian international Lovren proceeded to have a nightmare debut season at Anfield, and Tottenham fans would be forgiven for being somewhat concerned that the same thing could happen with Alderweireld.

Jose Fonte started alongside both players for Southampton and his experience seemingly covered for the holes in Lovren's game - something Liverpool didn't have.

Fears over Alderweireld following Lovren's path could be in the minds of Tottenham fans, but his relationship with former Ajax and current Belgium international team mate Jan Vertonghen should mean Spurs would have a solid partnership - if they can finally end the Alderweireld saga and take him to White Hart Lane this summer.

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