I can only imagine that Jose Mourinho and co contacted Toby Alderweireld while he was on the booze in Grand Place after celebrating Belgium’s third-place finish at the World Cup.
There’s no other logical explanation for the player wanting to move to Old Trafford.
Nobody can deny that, despite the terrific football on show in north London, Spurs have yet to win anything resembling a trophy in the current regime. But, they’re far more primed to do so because of the progressive culture at the club.
Stop crying from the rooftops. You can almost hear half of Salford citing how United finished four points ahead of Spurs in the league last year. They did, and fair play to them. However, Spurs grabbed 77 points in a season where they had no home games.
They’ll finally settle back into a proper footballing environment with an actual home advantage while United will continue into the usual mire that Mourinho’s politics and anti-football create in a dressing room.
These are two clubs who aren’t far apart in terms of footballing talent, but they couldn’t be further separated when it comes to psychology.
You can win league titles by being defensive. There’s real merit to it. Atletico Madrid are a lovely philosophical comparison to United in their approach, but there’s a marked difference.
Simeone would run through a brick wall for his squad, while Jose Mourinho is more likely to hand Anthony Martial a pack of Durex to prevent him from hampering future pre-season preparations.
What the 29-year-old Belgian needs is familiarity. Defensive units take time to gel and when they do, they don’t need every other player on the pitch to forego their attacking ability to compensate for them.
Mourinho sides are well-drilled, but they’re also constantly 60 seconds away from a mutiny due to his stone-cold persona and lack of people skills.
That Spurs back four, or back three – whatever they decide to implement – has been together for a while now and is more likely to offer Cristian Eriksen the freedom to go and actually win games than any United defensive line is to offer Paul Pogba the same platform.
Tottenham haven’t done any real business this off-season, but the best business they could do is simply keeping what they have.
They have seven players in their projected starting XI that had impressive World Cup campaigns, showing just how much talent there actually is an international context – not just in Premier League terms.