Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that Toby Alderweireld could be facing the Tottenham Hotspur exit door this summer after revealing he is no longer one of his first choice defenders.
The 29-year-old secured a duo of showings during the international break for his country; however, has not featured in the Premier League since October 28.
During the pause from domestic football, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez highlighted his concerns over Alderweireld's lack of game time, insisting it is 'important' that he features regularly for his club side.
However, Pochettino has claimed to the Daily Mail he will not change his selection for their top-four showdown with Chelsea on Sunday solely for the purpose of the centre-back's World Cup hopes, and, at this point in time, the player must fight to regain his position.
"I need to pick the players that I believe are the best players to win against Chelsea and then against Stoke", the Argentine said. "I cannot play with more than 11 and you need to choose.
"I am agreed that the players need to play and compete but for me, first of all every single player needs to show in the training session that they are better than their team-mate and then at that moment I pick.
"Toby in the last four months has struggled with his injury. I am not going to change the system because Toby needs games for the World Cup.
"I need to pick two centre-backs and if you are happy you keep the couple of players and he needs to wait. The interest for me is Tottenham, it's about Tottenham to win, I understand the manager but what can I do.
"If he keeps working hard he is going to have the opportunity to play and compete but he is an experienced player. He needs to be fit and to be fit he needs to train every day."
The Belgian, who is not willing to secure his future at Spurs, has attracted interest from Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid over the course of this season, with it understood the north Londoners will listen to offers of around £50m.