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Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg stripped of Southampton captaincy as exit rumors ramp up

He gone.

Southampton v Newcastle United - Premier League - St Mary’s Stadium Photo by Mark Kerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur aren’t seriously linked with many transfers this summer thanks to the COVID pandemic and the seriously unstable finances that come with it. However, one strong link has been with Southampton captain and midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Danish international heads into the last year of his contract this summer, but has steadfastly refused to sign an extension of his contract.

Tottenham have been interested in him to further bolster their midfield ahead of the start of the next Premier League season, and Hojbjerg’s contract stalemate has only boosted rumors that he’ll be sold this summer. Those rumors have now ramped up considerably. According to Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas, Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhuttl has stripped Hojbjerg of the Soton captaincy because of his desire to leave the club.

Now, that doesn’t mean that Hojbjerg is coming to Tottenham necessarily, but that’s about as strong an indication you can get that he’s not going to be suiting up for Southampton next season. Our own Andres Ramirez has already gone in depth to talk about how he could help Spurs’ midfield under Jose Mourinho, and central midfield is certainly an area of need.

Hojbjerg absolutely wants out and it sure sounds like he’s willing to start throwing his weight around to get his way. That likely will make it easier for Tottenham, should they be seriously interested, to make an offer that will stick. Spurs will probably need to sell to buy anyone who isn’t already on a free transfer, but there’s enough cruft in the team that it’s likely if they want a deal done it wouldn’t be difficult.