Yesterday was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster if you’ve been following the potential transfer of Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg from Southampton to Tottenham Hotspur. At the beginning of the day, we had reports that stated that Southampton had accepted a bid of £25m from Everton for Hojbjerg’s transfer, and even suggestions that the Danish midfielder was at Everton’s training ground to complete a medical. It looked, for a time, that Spurs had gotten gazumped by the Toffees.
Within a few hours, however, many of those reports had been walked back, to the extent that late reports from connected journalists had said that not only was there no agreement between Southampton and Everton, but that Hojbjerg still had his heart set on transferring to Spurs and was holding out for a deal to go through.
Today, the story hasn’t by any means gone away, but there’s a lot more solid reporting suggesting that the latter stories are the more accurate ones. David Hytner, writing for the Guardian, confirms that Soton have accepted a £25m bid from Everton, but that Spurs are preparing an improved bid of their own, and that Tottenham are increasingly confident that they’ll land their man before all is said and done.
Højbjerg, who has one year to run on his Southampton contract, is determined to move to Spurs, where José Mourinho wants to play him in front of the back four, and he has made that desire plain.
With the will of the player in their favour, Spurs will look to conclude negotiations with Southampton, having thus far frustrated the south coast club with their valuation of Højbjerg. Southampton will use Everton’s £25m offer as the benchmark, although Spurs will try to get him for less.
—David Hytner, The Guardian
That bit is super important. I’m no longer quite willing to say that Everton’s interest in PEH is being used as a stalking horse by the media or by Southampton — the Toffees’ interest seems real and he’d be a fantastic signing for them — but Hojbjerg’s opinion matters a great deal here. If PEH is holding out for Spurs, then it means Tottenham probably have to meet a minimum baseline of acceptability for a transfer for it to be done. That’s just details, though obviously Spurs will want to be wary of complacency in this transfer.
At any rate, I feel a heck of a lot better about this deal than I did at this time yesterday. As we’ve indicated, PEH’s numbers look good and he could be an excellent addition to Tottenham’s midfield next season. Mourinho wants him, Hojbjerg seems to want Spurs, Southampton are obviously selling him to SOMEBODY this summer. Classic you-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter scenario. All that remains is to actually get the deal done.