There is little worse for a football fan than to see one of your team’s biggest stars leave the club after years of service – but that is what Tottenham supporters are facing this season.

Toby Alderweireld looks destined to depart north London after four years at the club, his contract situation leaving him with a clause which will allow him to leave for £25million this summer – a price tag which understandable has Manchester United hunting his capture, according to the Sun.

That is a price tag well below what the Lilywhites, or more specifically club chief Daniel Levy, would want to see but that is the situation, and the clock is ticking for the Spurs chairman to try and ensure the Belgian does not leave for a direct rival – after all, seeing him at Old Trafford strutting his stuff would be a nightmare for the club.

What can Levy do?

As a savvy businessman, Levy knows he does not have a strong hand to play when it comes to Alderweireld’s future. The price tag is taken out of his hands and with a player of the defender’s quality, you know Europe’s biggest and brightest are going to be sniffing around. What the Spurs man must do is ensure that a club from outside the Premier League, maybe a Spanish or German giant, are at the front of the queue – be that by offering a lower price to tempt them into snapping him up. Alternatively, he could make a last ditch effort to try and get Alderweireld to pen a new deal, thus taking away the buyout clause, with the promise he will be sold this summer. That would at least give Tottenham some bargaining power in deciding where he goes and if Manchester United is his first choice, they can demand what the centre back is actually worth.

What next?

The Sun’s report claims Manchester United have given the green light to try and snap Alderweireld up but that contact is yet to be made, leaving Levy a little bit of time to try and figure out where to go next. He needs to know what the Belgian’s plans are and work from there. Seeing their star man depart for the Red Devils is something no Spurs fan wants to bear, so the Tottenham chief has got some work to do as the clock ticks down.