Tottenham should find a way around their restrictive wage structure to keep Toby Alderweireld, according to former Spurs midfielder Danny Murphy. The Belgium international has two years left on his current deal in north London and Tottenham understandably want to tie the 28-year-old down to a new long-term contract.
But the wage structure in place at the club means Alderweireld could earn significantly more elsewhere, and Murphy, who endured a rather unsuccessful brief spell at White Hart Lane during his playing days, says the powers-that-be in north London need to circumvent their wage limit and pay the former Atletico Madrid star what he is worth.
"The one they've got a real problem with is Alderweireld, because he's the best centre half in Europe and he's on peanuts," the former Tottenham midfielder told TalkSport. "And even if they put him to the maximum, he's still on peanuts compared to what he should be getting. You need to be rewarded when you're in your pomp, and he is in his pomp.
"You can be clever [to get around the pay structure]. The perception is that he earns £100,000 per week, and they weigh him in with a loyalty bonus of £5m or whatever it may be, there's ways and means of doing it so the perception is that the wage structure stays the same."
Since joining Tottenham from Atletico for around £11m (€12.8m) in the summer of 2015, Alderweireld has developed into arguably the best defender in the Premier League, and his performances have predictably attracted interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino dismissed concerns over Alderweireld's future last month, and while the former Southampton star may have some offers to consider during the summer, his primary focus is on helping Spurs sign off the season with a bang against already-relegated Hull City on Sunday (21 May).