Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has refused to be drawn into speculation surrounding the future of his team-mate and compatriot, Toby Alderweireld.
The latter of the two Belgian defenders has been at the centre of a number of transfer rumours this year after contract negotiations with Spurs, which were set to extend his current deal and remove an impending release clause, failed to get off the ground.
Alderweireld does have a contract in north London until 2020, but a clause in his deal states that the 29-year-old can leave in 2019 for as little as £25m.
Clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with a move for the defender, with Spurs reportedly willing to listen to offers of around £45m this summer, but Vertonghen is staying calm about his team-mate's future.
"Whenever we play we understand each other," Vertonghen told Sky Sports News. "When I left for Tottenham, Toby left for Atlético [Madrid] and Southampton but we found each other quite quickly after that, so no stress.
"We've been playing together for a long time and we know how to play together, but I don't want to speak about this because it might sound disrespectful to whoever is playing next to me or next to Toby in other situations."
Guys, talk to me. Do we really need Toby Alderweireld? We have two smashing centre-backs in Sanchez and Vertonghen, and we have a superbly talented back up in Juan Foyth. Plus, do we play better in a 4-2-3-1 than in a 3-4-2-1?— Spurs Centre (@Spurs_Centre) March 20, 2018
The two Belgian defenders, who grew up together in the Ajax youth system, have formed an outstanding partnership for Tottenham which has provided Harry Kane with the platform to propel Spurs up the table.
Although Davinson Sánchez - another former Ajax player - has joined Mauricio Pochettino's ranks this season, as well as defensive prodigy Juan Foyth, losing Alderweireld would be a hammer blow for the club and it could set a precedent that puts the future of Kane or Dele Alli at risk.