Southampton threaten legal action over Toby

Another twist as the Alderweireld saga gets ugly

Toby Alderweireld on loan at Southampton (pic source: PA)

Toby Alderweireld on loan at Southampton (pic source: PA)

Just hours after it seemed certain that Toby Alderweireld was set for a move to Tottenham Hotspur, it has emerged that Southampton still believe they are in pole position to sign the defender, and are threatening legal action if they don’t get their man.

As touched on earlier, Atleti had inserted a clause in the loan agreement with Southampton, where Toby spent last season on loan, that would let them cancel the €10 million option-to-buy by paying Saints a €2 million penalty fee.

While it looked as if Atlético had done just that, in order to sell Alderweireld to the highest bidder, it turns out that Atleti had only instructed Southampton of their intention to invoke the clause.

According to the Daily Mail, there is confusion over whether or not Atleti actually paid the money in time.

If true, it would be a spectacular error by the Atlético board. It could mean they are legally bound to sell Toby to Southampton, missing out on around €8 million in the process.

If Alderweireld turns down Southampton, as it is believed he is keen to despite spending a year on loan at St Mary’s, then Saints believe they could well be due a lucrative compensation package.

What we thought could be a shrewd bit of business by Atleti – signing Alderweireld for €7 million only two years ago – could well turn out to be a humiliating mistake.

According to ‘sources close to the deal’, Alderweireld is still virtually certain of signing for Tottenham, despite the threat of legal action.


  • Mike Green

    no one can make Toby sign for Southampton. Even if they have an option to buy he can still decline and sign for Spurs with nothing they can do about it.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, if Tottenham were willing to pay 16 million while Southampton has a purchase option of 10 million, then we will be losing 6 million, BUT remember that if he ended up with Southampton then we will not pay the 2 million penalty, so we will be losing 4 million, not 8 million (not including the 2 million bonus that we may or may not receive)

    But away from all those numbers, Southampton must realize two important things,
    and I think they will :
    1- Players play where they want, you can’t force them, and if you did you will have very bad consequences
    2-Atletico Madrid is a rich resource of great players, especially loanees, last season we loaned out 10 players from the first team to clubs such as Liverpool, Porto, Benfica & Wolfsburg and 6 players from the youth team to first teams of other clubs
    You don’t want to ruin your relationship with a club like that

  • David Smith

    Mike what planet are you on? Toby agreed the loan , knew its content he is legally bound to join Southampton he will have signed it. This is a hot potato and if I were Spurs Id back off big time.

  • Steven Sewell

    And you are clearly an angry Saints fan. He does not wish to join you permanently. He wants to go to a club where he actually has a chance of winning something. No disrespect to Saints, you have produced some excellent players for other clubs over the years, I mean Bale alone was excellent for us, Walcott, Ox, Chambers at Arsenal, Shaw at United, Lallana at Liverpool. No one can deny the development qualities you have there and hats off to you. However, you must accept your limitations. Southampton are a small/medium sized premier league club, Spurs are a big club. Not in the same bracket as United/Chelsea/City/Arsenal or Liverpool but they are the next biggest club in England. They only lose out to the aforementioned clubs of which you are not a part of. Aim lower. Compete with the West Hams and the Newcastles and you’ll have a better chance of sealing transfers. Do you think you discovered Toby? Spurs tried to sign him when he left Ajax and lost out to a bigger club (Atletico) which is something you have to accept in football. Let me remind you, it wasn’t long ago you were playing Championship football and a signing of a player the calibre of Alderwiereld would have been nothing more than fantasy. Spurs are in the same boat. If United really want Lloris, they’ll get him. If Real Madrid really want Kane, guess what will happen.

    Now you are back on planet earth, go about your day in a normal fashion.

  • Harry Farnish

    Just because saints haven’t been a ‘big’ club in the past, doesn’t mean we can’t work towards that. It’s all a work in progress. Alder said he wanted to stay a saint. So let’s wait and see.

  • Steven Sewell

    I meant no disrespect nor did I wish for that to sound condescending. Unfortunately, there isn’t time for “wait and see”. Football is a fast paced and brutal business and the ones who wait and see, finish last. The sad truth is, yes he may have been a victim of journalistic jedism as many players are but you have to look at it from another perspective. It doesn’t matter what a player says on Monday, by Tuesday if a better offer is on the table, he will backtrack on everything he said and is kissing another team’s badge by Wednesday morning. He may have thought at the time that “it’s not too bad here, I’d definitely consider staying here”. As you know in life, It’s easy to get caught in the moment but when he learned of interest from bigger clubs, his interest in permanently signing for Saints quickly dwindled. Don’t get me wrong, if Chelsea revive their interest, Spurs will lose out, Williangate anyone?

  • rampton

    You sir, are a pompous arse! Your comment is typical of those who consider themselves and the teams they support to have a God-given right to lord it over us mere mortals. Well sorry to blow a hole in your sanctimonious bubble, I think you’ll find that if Athletico have failed to exercise the escape clause and pay up the £1.5 million to cancel out Southampton’s right to buy the player, then legally, there isn’t much they, Spurs or you can do about it. I know it’s nose bleed territory up there at the Premiership’s top table, a whole two points higher than us as I recall, and maybe the lack of oxygen is confusing you, so let me spell it out again: partly for clarity, and partly because I quite enjoy talking down to people like you. A legally binding contract is exactly that and Athletico’s failure to comply with a specific caveat relating to the right-to-buy clause means Southampton can now action that right to buy.
    Oh, and if you bother to do a bit of research, I think you’ll find that Toby Alderweireld stated personally, at the end of the season, that he would like to stay at Southampton, but that his future was very much in Athletico’s hands. I don’t think he could have been any clearer.

    Now that YOU are back on Planet Earth, perhaps you might take a moment to reconsider your place on it.

  • Steven Sewell

    Brilliant, thank you for taking the time to educate me. I was not aware of this club you speak of. Atletico Madrid I believe is the club you are referencing but never heard of this Athletico. Anyway, I understand the lagalities of contractual obligations. I spend 14 hours a day painfully reading and writing them for a living so please do not try and propose that you are better qualified to understand these than myself because you sir, are clearly not. Now you may have a decent grasp on the English language and clearly adept use of google so I do commend you on this and if you give me your address, I will try and get a nice little certificate printed up and posted out to you, complete with dot-to-dot puzzles and pictures to colour in. I may even include a pack of Crayolas but only if you ask nicely.

    Contracts in football aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. I have dabbled in the past and I steer clear of the whole fiasco these days as it is a pointless and thankless task.

    As far as being a pompous arse is concerned, I actually take it as a compliment that you would think that of me. I wasn’t born into nobility my good man but have worked incredibly hard to get to my elevated position so once again, thank you for acknowledging my achievements.

    Any agreement between Atletico Madrid and Southampton is between the two clubs and has nothing to do with the player himself. Could you imagine a world where your employers decide your next working destination? That my friend is more “Fidel Castro-esque”, (feel free to use that and impress your friends in your local watering hole).

    Anyway, I think I have wasted enough time speaking to poorly educated individuals such as yourself.

    Good luck and remember, aim lower sweetie x

  • Michael Lee

    What’s the point in football then? We should just hand the so called bigger teams our players may as well just hand them the trophy too. That mentality is what is ruining football it should be a competitive sport not just a business of bigger fish and smaller fish. You can say oh but that’s what football is, but we shouldn’t have to accept that. Toby has said before and koeman stated in an interview a few days back that he would like to stay at Southampton that’s not to say he wouldn’t wanna play for spurs just every spurs fan thinks that it’s no competition when obviously it is he will start every game he’s fit here he won’t there he has dier vert and Fazio to compete with so why would he automatically want to go there?

  • Michael Lee

    We don’t care about loaning your players we wanted to buy Toby but you only wanted to loan him out. We wouldn’t loan your young players when we could give our young players a chance. If anyone’s ruining the relationship it’s Athletico Madrid not Southampton.

  • James Palmer
  • rampton

    My oh my, I seem to have rattled you somewhat! You really think you are something special don’t you. Not that it’s of any real importance chum, but I very much doubt you are anywhere near my level. Or ever will be. Your comedic efforts to present yourself as somehow superior are laughable What are these ‘lagalities’ you speak of that occupy you for 14 hours a day, eh? Is there actually such a word in the English language? I laughed so hard at the irony of that one, I really did!. Even funnier is the suggestion that you have ‘dabbled’ in football in some kind of professional capacity. What was that then, putting out the cones? Buying the half-time oranges? Ludicrous
    As it goes pal, your condescending bullshit doesn’t wash with me. Personally I could care less about your ‘achievements’ if you have any that is. You had to give it the ‘look at me, aren’t I clever! I’m so much more educated than you!’ angle as if it’s some sort of validation for your argument, whatever that was. Well pal, I know your type and see you for what you are: a silly puffed up keyboard warrior with an inflated sense of self importance. The fact you took my calling you a ‘pompous arse’ as a compliment tells me all I need to know: you are a typical attention seeking missile and a waste of oxygen.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    We are Atletico, not Athletico
    Too many people in England add an “h” to our name, which is a disrespect not just to Atleti and their fans, but to the Spanish language and all the people who speak it, so you can just add an “o” at the end of any English word and it be becomes Spanish ?!!

    Atletico is too big to be mistaken about its name
    The names and the colors of Athletic Club de Bilbao and Atletico Madrid have a very famous story, and the people who know it should never get confused, and by the way, the story involves Southampton

    What I think is : when it comes to football, most of the British think they are better than anybody else, because you invented football
    You people have read and heard too many complaints about calling us “Athletico” but you insist on doing it, from the youngest fan to the biggest football journalists and “experts”

    Please, don’t try to say it’s a typo .. we both know it is not
    And don’t ask why I’m so angry and offended because of one letter .. we both know how big disrespect it is .

    I really love Southampton by the way .

  • Yiddsy

    All it mean’s is Southampton will get a compensation package from Atletico Madrid which will be the 1.6 mill originally agreed. they then will add that to Alderweireld’s transfer fee to Spurs.
    More to the point why didn’t Southampton excersise the right to buy earlier, surely they had to know that Southampton wanted to make the deal permanent before now. Caught with your trousers down and Levy whipped in there.
    Read more at http://zapsportz.com/spurs-tell-zapsportz-com-we-can-press-ahead-with-deal-for-toby-alderweireld-from-atletico/#kcxcUcHIm1iUYdMc.99

  • trev

    thats total rubbish and insulting! i’m English and have never made the mistake in the spelling of your club. i happen the think that technically, english players generally are way behind most of Europe. I also think that as most brits dont speak a second language (myself included) we are lazy and automatically expect the rest of the world to speak english. but, your opinion is a very ignorant load of crap on what you think of the English!

  • trev

    you dont half go on matey! you are also a boring bullshitter, so do everyone a favour a put a lid on it! noone really wants to read the opinion of someone like you, who clearly has an over-inflated ego!

  • AaX

    We apologize for appearing to be condescending, IT’S NOT IN OUR DNA and WILL BE NOT, since who we are Is NOT REAL MADRID. And we don’t assume in default we are bigger than everyone and WE WEAR THE SAME COLOUR (go back to History) needless to be said. IT’S Just that we thought we are just saving you time having so many in the past been acquainted with this kind of situation that we practically although not Ideally adopt them. We have learn that PLAYERS CHOOSE WHERE THEY WANT TO GO REGARDLESS. So we stop wasting time appealing to them and start using time to find THE BETTER REPLACEMENT.He**, We Lost Falcao to Monaco and about to loose Arda this summer. We have to grow unassumingly but yet Not Losing Our True Ideals to begin with that is THE ULTIMATE CHAMPION OF THE PEOPLE AND THE GAME. FORZA ATLETI!!

  • AaX

    Well it ALSO DIDN’T Help when kept being lazy and ignorant of others to be generally assumed of otherwise.

  • David Smith

    you wish!!! the law does not work like that. There have been a multitude of rumors about what is in the option in the loan agreement between the clubs and the player.Without seeing it you can only speculate which is what fans are fond of doing. However, it is unlikely that any agreement would have been drafted to allow the selling club t cancel the option in return for a fee so that they could then sell on to another club for a higher figure. That in principle is illegal, and a breach of the principle of good faith. As to why Saints did not close their end of the deal earlier that is easy to respond to. Atletico will have made it clear that they did not want to sell the player for the agreed figure, and Saints were powerless to do anything until a breach of the contract could be shown. Atletico did not cancel the option since they would have been bound to retain the player in their squad for the coming season and pay his wages which they did not want to do. I have not seen the contract, so I am just going on general principles of Napoleonic law, and Saints can now close the deal unilaterally, send the money to Atletico who can do little to prevent the transfer going through as they have already agreed to it. Should they complain FIFA will back Saints as they can show a contractual obligation. As for the player, Saints will still have to agree terms, and if as has been suggested his agent agreed terms with Spurs any agreement on that front should mirror whatever has been agreed with the London club so that the player is happy.

  • AaX

    That’s What We are Doing. PRESERVING FOOTBALL AND DEFYING THIS NONSENSE. And Only Accept those WHO ACTUALLY WANT TO BE IN THIS CLUB and Open the Door to those who do not AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

  • David Smith

    as a fellow legal professional but perhaps you are not a lawyer you surprise me in some of your comment. Read what I wrote below, so that I dont have to repeat myself. “Contracts between club and players are not worth the paper they are written on ” you say. Well they are here, I dont know about England. Any loan agreement will have been drafted under Spanish law, which in common with other european states of a latin origin, is basically Napoleonic law in essence. First of all the player will have signed the agreement also , not least because the english club will have paid his wages. If Atletico persist in attemptin to welsh with their agreement, it is likely that they will be sued and equally likely that they will be in trouble with FIFA

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Hopefully it’ll turn out that Southampton’s right to buy Toby back for that €7M fee expired June 30th and therefore we can sell him to the highest bidder.

  • David Smith

    sorry but its the other way around I just love the way fans speculate about legal matters, fun to read..

  • David Smith

    you should be aware by now that Saints have changed dramatically since the days they played in a ground with maximum attendance of under 20,000.While they may not yet have the muscle to compete with Man Utd, they are no pushover, as this transfer window has clearly shown, gone are the days when other bigger clubs could knock on their door and demand their players. The Toby problem is first one of law and second one of reaching agreement with the player. it may indeed be the case that part of the loan agreement covered any future transfer in terms of the conditions with the player should he join Southampton.Saints are a well run club it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

  • I don’t think anyone outside the two clubs has read the contract, so best not to speculate one way or another. Neither of you know!

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Other way round, blah blah. I know about Atleti potentially not managing to exercise their right to cancel that buyout clause in time but I’m assuming (correctly I guess) that you didn’t see the documents with your own eyes so stop playing the wise guy, it might as well pan out the way I’ve described it.

  • AaX

    But then again if it’s wasn’t ‘in good faith’ that Atletico had breached the contract, equally is So’ton for not willing to meet up to the selling price Atleti is accepting like to Spurs AND to keep persisting on this ‘legalities’. When we assume that YOU can’ t make the offer, we were just saving you time and not being intentful in breaching those agreements in the first place. It can be accused that it was just negligence.ANYWAYS, HOPE THAT YOU GOT HIM TO ST. MARY WHERE HE SEEMS WANT TO BE.

  • trev

    your comment doesnt make any sense mate! ???

  • Godzilla saved my life

    Never thought people would care this much about Alderweireld. I hope the 16-18 million is possible, but the 10 million is already more than I expected a year ago.
    And if he doesn’t leave he would be an okay-nice back-up to Giménez (way better than Diaz-level back-ups).

    Also where does the “Athletico” spelling come from? I’ve seen it being used in the Netherlands, too… Are people that bad at seeing the difference between Bilbao and us so they just name both Athletico or something?

    It’s Atlético (or Atleti for short), it’s not even a complex part of the Spanish language, it should be easy as hell to remember and it even saves you typing an H in between.
    Not that it matters that much to me, but it looks so stupid when people don’t know how to write Atlético. Really stupid.

    Maybe if Soton can’t get Toby, they’ll want to loan Lucas, he needs some experience on a higher than Tercera División level.

  • Michael Lee

    Typing on iPad it was auto corrected but you can cry about if you like 🙂

  • Michael Lee

    Wrong just wrong we didn’t need an to exercise the right to buy him the transfer was going ahead UNLESS Madrid cancelled it.

  • Pants on Fire

    Absolute tosh – it doesn’t even recognise ‘Athletico’ as it keeps trying to change it to Athletics!

  • Kris

    Holy shit!!! How did these Disqus lawyers get here? Everybody fucking turns into a lawyer. If you haven’t seen the official papers, kindly shut the fuck up!
    I request the mods on here to delete every comment with the spelling of ‘Athletico’. How the fuck more wrong,disrespectful, and lazy can you be? The spelling is on the web bar, fucking ‘Atletico’ fans.

  • BlasiusMagnus

    i still dont get it… why do they come here and start all this shit lawyer talk in the first place? they dont have forums, or disqus on http://www.saintsfc.co.uk i guess. i hope none of us do the same in these situations.
    all these ___Soutampthone___ “fans” should GTFO.

  • Michael Lee

    Exactly and I just deleted the s and put an o as I didn’t see it added the h in there soo…. Cry about it

  • Michael Lee

    Have fun in your Barca or Madrid league 😉

  • BlasiusMagnus

    see, thats why you and the others like you should get out from here.

  • rampton

    Put a cork in it ‘Trev’. You bore me already.

  • Jamie

    Cheers man, from a Southampton fan 🙂

  • David Smith

    small matter of legal principles involved and for that I dont need to see the contract suffice to say that any clause in a contract that has an illegal term in it is null and void

  • David Smith

    bravo , that man , lol

  • rampton

    Cheers fellah. much appreciated. Mr Sewell needs to have a word with himself before he feels the need to pipe up with such nonsense again! Shouldn’t really respond to such silly provocation I suppose, but having had a few shandys, it was too hard to resist temptation! Up the Saints!
    Oh, and by way of an apology to Atletico fans, my apologies for using the clearly incorrect spelling with an ‘h’; no offence intended.

  • rampton

    Hallo AaX! No apology required, I was only responding to the smug idiot peddling the idea that Tottenham Hotpsur are somehow a big club. Atletico are a big club, Southampton maybe on their way to becoming one in the coming years, Tottenham used to be one. Apparently.

  • AaX

    POINT MADE.

  • AaX

    WE HAVE AND WILL EVENTUALLY TOO WITH THE EPL LIKE WE DID WITH CHELSKIS. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF US THEN.

  • AaX

    Mate?

  • Boba Fett

    Coming from someone who supports a club that won 1 trophy in 130 years, it must feel really humiliating :)))

    Have fun outside the Top 30 of EPL lolz

  • thericeking

    guys come on give southampthone some love they are actually a great team (dare i say like us 10yrs ago.. i do, you wont like it but then ur blind)… i understand that the overnight lawyers should calm down and go away QUIETLY… but lets be friends we are the best two teams in our respective countries…

    this world is for peace and love…

  • thericeking

    what young players do you have.. in a loan sure you waste the experience on someone who is leaving at the seasons end but if you finish 3 places higher (not to say toby did that for you but he did improve you) then you get £more tpo finally buy your player.. its win win, so dont ruin your relationship with us, you need us like we need Porto..

  • BlasiusMagnus

    man, i agree, in fact i havent got any problem with southampton. i only have problem with the idiot fans. and we know that every club has a few. 🙂

  • Steven Sewell
  • Steven Sewell

    http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/home/

    You were saying something about an agreement or something? Seems like exactly what I said happened and you lost out to the bigger club. No worries my friend, Schneiderlin to leave next then it’ll be back to the Championship with a bump for you all.

    Thanks for your effort in the replies anyway.

    Take care

  • Ringo ain’t that easy

    No, Soton was able to buy the player until the end of the season for 8-9 million euros, but if Atleti payed approximately 2 million before the deadline, that clause would be diminished. If Soton did not activate the clause before June 30th or July 1, it would just be a ‘regular’ loan deal.

    It looks like that has been the case and there are rumors (or comfirmations, you’ll probably know better) that Southampton’s CFO has been fired after misinterpreting the clauses in the contract. Otherwise the Spurs deal wouldn’t have been finalized this soon, I reckon.

    But like Nick said, we cannot know what was written in the contract. There have been crazy clauses in the past and perhaps there was a problem with translating from Spanish to English or vice versa.

    Good luck with replacing Toby, maybe you want to loan Lucas for a year 😉

  • rampton

    To begin with, this episode has not yet run it’s course.
    Secondly, being a smug c*nt isn’t the smartest position to occupy, but judging by some of the responses I’ve had here and elsewhere, it appears that this is standard behaviour for the average Tottenham fan.
    And let’s face it Steven, you are pretty average really aren’t you?
    You need to try a bit harder ‘chum’.