Tottenham Hotspur are unwilling to agree to Toby Alderweireld's wage demands and have reached an impasse in negotiations with the Belgium international, whose situation is being closely observed by Manchester United.
Alderweireld's contract has been a longstanding issue for Spurs, who are not willing to break their current wage structure for the former Southampton star, who was not included in the squad that secured an impressive draw against Juventus on Tuesday (13 February) despite making his return from a severe hamstring injury in the FA Cup fourth round replay win over Newport County.
The Daily Mail report that Alderweireld is looking for a five-year contract with a weekly wage higher than Tottenham's £110,000-a-week limit, but the powers that be in north London have no intention of bowing to the Belgian, whose current deal expires at the end of next season.
Tottenham do have the option to extend Alderweireld's contract by a further a year but in doing so they would activate a £25m release clause [The Guardian], a fee well below the 28-year-old's true value given the vastly exorbitant state of the transfer market.
With that in mind, Spurs may be inclined to sell Alderweireld for a reasonable sum if they fail to thrash out an agreement in the months leading up to the start of the summer transfer window, and that may prompt an approach from United.
The Manchester Evening News claim that Jose Mourinho's side are keeping tabs on the former Atletico Madrid centre-back's current situation in the capital. A new central midfielder is said to be United's highest priority for the summer, but doubts over the capabilities of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones may have heightened the importance of signing a new defender.
It remains to be seen if United act upon their apparent interest in Alderweireld, whose defensive partnership with compatriot Jan Vertonghen is arguably the best in the Premier League, but the esteemed Belgian's immediate focus is solely fixed on trying to regain his place in Tottenham's starting line-up, which he could well be included in when Pochettino's side face Rochdale on Sunday [18 February].