Manchester United believe they have renewed hope of signing Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Alderweireld has long been manager Jose Mourinho’s top target to strengthen the centre of defence, but Daniel Levy’s reputation as a tough negotiator, especially with United, has once again proven to be the case.

The Belgian is not expected to start the season as first choice for Spurs, primarily due to his World Cup exploits, and it has long been suggested that the London club would be willing to cash in on their player if the price was right. That price seems to be around £55m, with United haggling and preferring to pay less than £50m.

The negotiations have played out publicly, with United using links with Harry Maguire and more recently Yerry Mina to try and bargain with their Premier League rivals. Leicester City refuted United’s enquiry, with Maguire a genuine second choice; and Mourinho’s frustration on the recent tour of the US was visible to all to see.

However, with Thursday’s deadline looming, and both United and Spurs struggling to make a breakthrough in the transfer market, it appears that the clubs are close to agreeing a deal; sources close to United this morning claim that the club are ‘confident’ of the transfer being concluded shortly.

If the Belgian does sign for the club it will be unlikely he will start the first game of the season; indeed, his first game may even come against Spurs. He has been at Spurs for three seasons and made 21 appearances last season.