Roma to Snatch Ajax Star Toby Alderweireld’s Signature from Premier League Suitors

Toby Alderweireld of AFC Ajax( Photo by Anoek de Groot/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

Toby Alderweireld of AFC Ajax( Photo by Anoek de Groot/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

One year on from selling former club captain Jan Vertonghen to Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax are set to lose another of their defensive stars after it became apparent that Toby Alderweireld was closing in on a switch to AS Roma.

It’s been apparent for some time that the Belgian star would be leaving the Amsterdam Arena this season; transfer speculation going into overdrive after the 24-year-old stated last month that he was open to a move to Liverpool (via Metro).

However, all notions of a Premier League move now appear to be off after a more recent Metro report claimed that Alderweireld has already agreed to a deal with Roma.

As things stand, Alderweireld’s current contract in the Dutch capital is set to expire at the end of next season, prompting Ajax to cash in on his signature now.

A club founded upon a raise-to-sell policy in recent times, it’s common knowledge that Ajax sell players when they feel their price-tag is at its highest, almost never allowing a high-value player to run their contract down once they have intentions of a departure.

Gregory van der Wiel and Maarten Steklenburg are both examples of players who have left the Eredivisie giants with just one year remaining on their contracts, with Christian Eriksen another possible addition to that list in the coming months.

While Roma’s attack has been mightily impressive, defence has been a let-down for Aurelio Andreazzoli’s side this season. They currently stand as the second-worst in Serie A, conceding an average of 1.53 goals per game.

Roma can only hope that Alderweireld takes some influence from the impact that former defensive partner Vertonghen has made at White Hart Lane this campaign. The centre-back has easily been one of Andre Villas-Boas’ finest defenders and was recently named in the PFA’s 2012-13 Team of the Year — a sensational achievement in his debut season in the English top flight.

Although a central defender by nature, Alderweireld can also fill in at right-back when needed, a position where he has earned several of his 23 Belgium national caps.

It’s still unknown as to just how much I Lupi will need to fork out for their target’s signature, but given that the player would become a free agent next summer, Ajax only have so much to go in terms of bartering stance.

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