One of the many positive stories coming from Southampton’s strong start to this season’s Premier League campaign has been the play of defender Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian international was secured on-loan from defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on the final day of the summer transfer window.

Seeing that Alderweireld’s playing time would have been limited due to the presence of Los Rojiblancos’ central defenders, Diego Godin and Miranda; as well as needing to balance their books, manager Diego Simeone gave the green light for the 25-year-old to join the English club on-loan.

Now, after seeing their club rise to second place in the English top flight, Southampton officials are hoping to make the defender’s move to St Marys permanent. The current loan agreement includes a buy-out clause for the Premier League club amounting to roughly £7 million, but also features a clause by which the Spanish side hold the right to veto this option in return for an outlay of £1.2 million.

Alderweireld joined Atletico for roughly £5 million from Ajax in September 2013.

The La Liga club is now debating whether to allow the sale to go through or opt to sink the deal. With the defender playing well in England, as well as for Belgium, Atletico believe that the player’s price tag is too low and will attempt to get the most out of any deal.

There is also a concern that bigger clubs will come back in for Simeone’s top two centre-backs during the coming transfer windows. It has been well documented that Godin was a target of Jose Mourinho and Chelsea, while Miranda admitted being pursued by Louis van Gaal and Manchester United this summer.

Though both players have expressed their desire to remain with the La Liga club, Miranda just celebrated his 30th birthday and a substantial bid for the defender may convince the Spanish side to sell the player, with Alderweireld replacing the Brazilian at the center of Atletico’s defense.

But don’t expect Simeone to sign off on any departures until the summer, since Los Rojiblancos are in the midst of a top four battle in La Liga and currently lead their Champions League group. The Argentine boss won’t disrupt his squad by allowing either one of his influential defenders to leave mid-season.

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