Mauricio Pochettino is refusing to discuss the future of key defender Toby Alderweireld as the Spurs star's contract saga rumbles on.

The Tottenham centre-back has been locked in talks with the club's hierarchy over improved terms for almost 18 months, and there are no signs of an impasse being broken as speculation continues over where his future lies.

In quotes published by the Mirror, Pochettino was quizzed over whether he had any news regarding an update on Alderweireld.


The Argentine, however, elected to play it coy as he explained he had no part to play in the discussions over a new contract for the Belgium international.

He said: “I am not involved in negotiations. I never talk about rumours, what the media say or what happens around the club. It is not my job and I cannot say nothing about that.”

Alderweireld has 16 months left to run on the £50,000-a-week deal he penned upon joining Spurs from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015.

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The centre-back has a clause in his current contract that would allow the north Londoners to extend his deal another 12 months but, in doing so, another clause relating to Alderweireld's potential sale would also come into effect.

That clause - a release fee of around £25.4m - would allow the 28-year-old to depart before the final 14 days of the transfer window, and Spurs fans have grown increasingly concerned that interested parties such as Manchester United would immediately pounce on that clause if his contract is extended by default.

Meanwhile, Pochettino also offered an update on Alderweireld's ongoing injury problems, with the ex-Southampton loanee only featuring twice since November.

Alderweireld has had to deal with a troublesome hamstring injury over the past three months, and Pochettino admitted that he would need to be assessed ahead of Sunday's Crystal Palace clash after he suffered a slight setback in training this week.

Pochettino added: “I think it was only Toby who could not finish the training session.

“He suffered a small incident in the same leg, but we are going to assess [him. It is in the same leg but I think it is a different area. We will see if he is available for training and if possible be selected for the weekend. We hope it is not a big issue.”