Tottenham sign Toby Alderweireld on five-year deal
Last Updated: 08/07/15 4:16pm
Toby Alderweireld has signed a five-year deal to join Tottenham Hotspur from Atletico Madrid.
Belgium international Alderweireld spent last season in the Premier League on loan with Southampton and had been linked with a permanent move to St Mary's, but will instead be plying his trade at White Hart Lane.
Alderweireld played 26 times for the Saints in 2014-15 and was part of a team that proved second hardest to score against in the top division - they conceded only 33 goals, one more than champions Chelsea.
He joins fellow Belgians Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen at Tottenham, and could end up partnering the latter in the heart of their defence, as they also did when team-mates at Ajax.
Southampton had threatened legal action if Alderweireld joined Spurs, claiming they had a deal in place to sign him as part of their loan deal and that Atletico were too late in buying out that clause for £1.5m.
But Sky sources understand Southampton will not now pursue legal action because ultimately it was Alderweireld who chose to move to Spurs, although they are disappointed they failed to land the player after making a £14.2m bid for the centre-half.
How Spurs signed Alderweireld
Tottenham pipped Southampton to Toby Alderweireld's signature - but how did they do it?
Alderweireld said: "I'm very proud to become a Spurs player. I'm very happy to be here and I hope to have a wonderful time with this team.
"From the beginning, I knew a lot about it (the club) from Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli.
"It's a big club and it’s always been a dream to play at a club like Spurs. Now that dream is coming true so I’m very happy, very proud and I will give my best.
"I know the players from the national team and I played with Jan at Ajax, we had a central defensive partnership. It's nice when you join another club that you know a couple of players. I hope to get to know them a little better now."
Why sign Alderweireld?
We pick out five key qualities that Toby Alderweireld will bring to Tottenham in 2015/16.
Club and country team-mate Vertonghen was attending the Wimbledon Championships on learning of the move and told Sky Sports News HQ: "He just signed a few minutes ago, so well done to him. He's another good player.
"He's a good player so he's welcome, four for Belgium so it's good."