Lost in the transfer deadline day news blitz was this tidbit: Christian Eriksen’s contract negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur are still going on. Only now, thanks to direct intervention by Mauricio Pochettino, there may have been a breakthrough. PA Sport (as relayed by ESPN) is reporting that Spurs’ manager has personally intervened to break a deadlock between Eriksen and his representatives and Tottenham in order to help broker a new contract extension at White Hart Lane.
The deal is supposedly for an additional two years, keeping Eriksen a Spurs player until 2020. His weekly wages are expected to be £70,000/wk, about double what he’s making now and putting him close to the top of Tottenham’s wage scale. Earlier reports had suggested that Eriksen’s agent had asked for wages of £150k/week, nearly double what Hugo Lloris is making as Spurs’ top wage earner.
Pochettino, who normally doesn’t get involved in things like this, apparently waded into the contract mess because he was concerned that it might have been affecting Eriksen’s play. Eriksen has put in a number of relatively poor performances in the early part of Tottenham’s Premier League season, though his second half performance in Spurs’ 1-1 draw against Liverpool was much better.
I’m already on record with saying that I think Eriksen deserves a significant increase in pay. I’m also dubious about the claims that contract talks are getting in Eriksen’s head somehow and is affecting his performance on the pitch. Professional athletes are just that: professionals. While off-field issues can certainly impact a player’s mentality, Occam’s Razor suggests that his string of bad form is a combination of early season rust, and adjusting to playing with new teammates (and without Moussa Dembele).
All indications are that Eriksen is happy at Spurs, isn’t angling for a move, and just wants to get paid. Which is fine. Still, if Poche jumping into negotiations is what it takes to get Eriksen to agree to a new contract, then I’m fine with that too.
The report suggests that Eriksen, who is away on international duty with Denmark, will likely sign the new contract next week after he returns to London.