Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, seen here taking on Barcelona star Lionel Messi in October, will stay at Spurs until at least 2020. Photo: Tim Ireland/Xinhua

LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur have extended defender Toby Alderweireld’s contract until 2020, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The Belgium international’s deal was set to expire at the end of the current season, after which the 29-year-old centre back would have been able to leave the club for free in the close season.

“The club can confirm that we have activated the option to extend Toby Alderweireld’s contract until 2020,” Tottenham said in a statement.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino had confirmed in December that the club were looking to activate the one-year extension in his contract.

Alderweireld has made 135 appearances for Tottenham across all competitions since signing from Spanish side Atletico Madrid in 2015 for a reported fee of £11.4 million.

He had been linked with a move away from the club prior to the 2018-19 season, when British media had reported that Manchester United were interested in securing his services.

A hamstring injury had limited Alderweireld to only 14 Premier League starts last season but he has featured more prominently this season, making 19 starts so far.

Reuters