Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld has been linked with a transfer to Belgian champions Club Brugge, who are rumoured to be big admirers of the 32-year-old.
Alderweireld still has another two years left on the long-term contract he signed in 2019 but has often been rotated in and out of the Spurs lineup by Jose Mourinho this season.
He has only appeared in 18 of 29 Premier League games, with the manager seemingly unable to settle on a preferred defensive line in north London and regularly chopping and changing between Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon.
This summer could provide an opportunity to move on and it has been mentioned by his family within the last few months that a return home to Belgium could be appealing.
Alderweireld’s father specifically noted last October that the player had bought land in Ekeren, a district of his home city of Antwerp, and has a vision of moving closer to home at some point.
There has been speculation that could mean joining Royal Antwerp, who faced Spurs home and away in the Europa League group stage – although Alderweireld featured in neither game. But Belgium is not a large country and Brugge, for example, is reachable from the Ekeren district of Antwerp in around 60 miles and less than 90 minutes.
According to Voetbal24 in Belgium, Club Brugge have a ‘crush’ on Alderweireld and would be prepared to fully pursue him in an effort to have him join them. It is noted that Antwerp are also looking for an ‘experienced defender’, pushing Brugge to decide they are ready to go.
It is said that while it won’t be a cheap deal, Brugge will make a ‘significant effort’ to ensure that Alderweireld does not end up joining Antwerp.
Brugge are well clear at the top of the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium and are on course to win a fourth title in five seasons, but Antwerp have been their closest competition this season after improving considerably year on year since returning to the top flight in 2017.
Brugge have plenty to offer Alderweireld, having competed in the Champions League group stage in the past two seasons, playing the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Monaco, as well as Manchester United in the Europa League.