Manchester United's search for a centre-back is unlikely to take them to Toby Alderweireld as the Spurs defender's release clause has ended.
As of midnight last night, there are just two weeks left in the transfer window, so Alderweireld's £25m release clause no longer applies.
With Man United still keen on Leicester's Harry Maguire, their back-up option would now cost considerably more. Maguire is more in keeping with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's new policy.
Their last two signings reveal as much. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James. Both British, both 21.
After completing the Wan-Bissaka deal, the Telegraph reported on a leaked Ed Woodward email to club staff stating Man United transfer targets would be in line with their "long-term vision."
The prospect of overspending on Alderweireld is still a possibility, given the club's history. In 2013, they signed Marouane Fellaini for £27.5m, £4m more than his buyout clause which had expired in the previous weeks.
At the time it was thought that Woodward believed he could secure him for less, but when it comes to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy that notion would look even more fanciful.
For Manchester United, it seems a 26-year-old English centre back is worth prioritising over a 30-year-old Belgian.
Speaking during Spurs pre-season tour of China, Alderweireld had said on a possible move, "the release clause is running out and again anything can happen." Now that's no longer the case.
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