Juventus are reportedly one of the top-class suitors hoping to sign Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Toby Alderweireld this summer, and the Serie A champions have been given a 50 percent chance of luring the defender.
That's according to Tuttosport, and the Turin-based newspaper gave Juve a quite promising chance of adding Alderweireld to their ranks as his contract difficulties continue in north London (h/t Sport Witness).
Alderweireld, 29, endured a difficult second half to this season after suffering a knee injury in November before manager Mauricio Pochettino held him back from the starting XI at times despite recovering fitness.
Goal's Ives Galarcep nodded to the seemingly strong possibility of the Belgium international leaving Tottenham this summer:
Alderweireld has established himself as a defensive powerhouse in the Premier League with Southampton and Spurs, but a contract option in his current deal could see his employers seriously consider a sale.
The centre-back's current agreement ends in the summer of 2019 and has the option of an extra year, which would keep him at the club until 2020, the Guardian's David Hytner reported in December. However, Pochettino did his part at the time to alleviate fan fears:
"This is a message for our fans and for everyone: Toby still has two-and-a-half years of contract. Messi was six months left on his contract. Messi! If something happens [on Alderweireld], the club is going to communicate. But I don't understand all these things when the players are all under contract."
The issue for Spurs is that if Alderweireld makes it to June 2019 and triggers the added year, it will also trigger a release clause making him available for only £25 million.
That fee would be a snip for a player of his quality, and Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard recently reported Manchester United are willing to pay £40 million to get their man this summer. Ajax starlet Matthijs de Ligt is said to be the man lined up as Tottenham's defensive replacement.
Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah are set to leave Turin on free transfers this summer, while Benedikt Howedes will return to Schalke from his loan. Plus, Serie A writer Adam Digby hasn't put much faith in 23-year-old Italy international Daniele Rugani as a Juve central defender:
But one has to question whether the Bianconeri can raise the necessary financial muscle to compete with some of Europe's giants for a shot at one of the best defender's on the continent, per blogger Liam Canning:
Spurs leave themselves at risk of losing Alderweireld for a lesser fee should they hang on to him beyond this summer, but the 2018 FIFA World Cup will also have an effect on how much attention he draws.
Juve are said to have a good chance at the player as things stand, but a series of star showings for Belgium in Russia this summer could see the Italian league champions priced out of the race.