Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has told The Guardian that fans need to trust chairman Daniel Levy over the future of defender Toby Alderweireld.
Spurs swooped to sign Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015 following a superb loan spell with Southampton, and he has become a key player under Pochettino.
Having reunited with Belgian international colleague and former Ajax teammate Jan Vertonghen, Alderweireld has become one of the Premier League's top centre backs, aiding Pochettino's defensive stability.
Some Spurs fans have been concerned about Alderweireld's future, given that there appears to be a strange clause in his contract with the club.
The Telegraph reported in December 2016 that Alderweireld will have a £25million release clause in his deal in 2019, if Spurs activate a one-year option until 2020.
That means that there may be a small window in which Alderweireld – one of Europe's top defenders – can be signed at a bargain price, and fans are desperate to see him sign a new contract.
Now, Tottenham boss Pochettino has told The Guardian that fans must be calm, and must trust chairman Daniel Levy to resolve the matter rather than panic over the coming months.
Pochettino revealed that Levy told him not to worry about Alderweireld's future, as his contract runs until 2020, and an extension can happen at any time – as seen by Lionel Messi's deal at Barcelona entering its final six months.
“This is a message for our fans and for everyone: Toby still has two-and-a-half years of contract,” said Pochettino. “Messi was six months left on his contract. Messi! If something happens [on Alderweireld], the club is going to communicate. But I don’t understand all these things when the players are all under contract. It’s two and a half years. Daniel Levy said to me: ‘Don’t worry, gaffer. It’s two and a half years.’
“Players like Érik Lamela still haven’t signed [new contracts]. Or another player signs with two years left. It’s different contexts, different reasons. It’s not only to say the club needs to do this and this. Calm. Calm, our fans. Because Daniel is very good. He has managed the club for 17 or 18 years. Look at how Tottenham was 18 years ago and how it is today. I think full credit to Daniel. Let him work. It is important the fans trust in Daniel,” he added.