Toby Alderweireld
Toby Alderweireld has been a key component of the Saints defenceGetty Images

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Dembele says fellow Belgium international Toby Alderweireld is a "great player" but has refused to comment on the defender's thinly veiled desire to join the north London club.

Alderweireld, currently on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid, has hinted he wants to move to White Hart Lane after admitting his longing to play alongside Jan Vertonghen from next season.

And in response to those claims, Dembele has praised Alderweireld but has fallen short of endorsing a future move from Tottenham for the ex-Ajax defender, hinting the club may not have space for the 26-year-old.

"I think [Toby] is a great player of course, but this is not my [issue] to talk about," Dembele told Sky Sports News. "We have good players at Tottenham too so it is difficult to see who fits in our team and who doesn't."

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman claims his side have an option to sign the Belgian on a permanent deal at the end of the season but his contribution amid a successful campaign for the south coast club means Saints could face competition for his signature.

But Alderweireld has seemingly taken the first step towards requesting a move to Tottenham by declaring his intention to play alongside Vertonghen for both club and country.

"It would be very nice to play again with Jan," Alderweired he told Belgian outlet HLN. "The interest has yet to be concrete and finally Atletico must let me go. Maybe they want me back in Madrid. I have to wait for the calls after the season.

"Atletico Madrid will largely decide what I will do. But that such clubs are interested only indicates that I am doing well. For now, I only try to focus as much as possible on Southampton. I am very happy in the Premier League, which really suits me."