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Tottenham, Southampton could drive up the price of Chelsea defensive target

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The Blues have been linked to Toby Alderweireld quite a bit, of late, and on Friday, The Telegraph suggested that the player might not be as inexpensive as originally rumored. While I'm not entirely certain any of the English media have accurate details about the agreement between Atletico and Southampton, here's what the paper had to say:

Alderweireld has spent the past year with Southampton and, as part of that agreement, a provisional permanent fee of around £7 million was negotiated for his potential purchase this summer. Atlético can simply bring Alderweireld back to Spain but, with his value clearly having increased after an excellent season in the Premier League, may also sell to the highest bidder.

Southampton would usually then struggle against the financial resources of Chelsea or Tottenham, who are also interested, but do have the advantage in negotiations of a clause in his loan agreement.

This says that Atlético must pay Southampton compensation, understood to be between £2 million and £3 million, should they sell to another club. It effectively all means that other clubs would have to outbid Southampton by at least that compensation figure to sign the Belgium international. With Southampton expected to potentially go beyond £11 million in their offer, any rival bidder will almost certainly have to pay more than £14 million for the 26-year-old.

As far as versatile backups go, Chelsea could do an awful lot worse than Alderweireld. The Belgian provides cover at both fullback and centerback, and is young enough that the Blues wouldn't see significant decline before the expiration of his contract.

Given the rapidly increasing money available to Chelsea, the price mentioned in The Telegraph article probably isn't going to cause Chelsea too much trouble, especially as the player would likely be on the lower end of the Blues' wage scale. That said, the arrangement between Atletico Madrid and Southampton could easily cause enough problems to keep anything from happening with Alderweireld.