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Romano: Tottenham, Leicester interested in signing Christian Eriksen this summer

Bring him hoooooooooooome...

Watford v Brentford - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Christian Eriksen is on Tottenham Hotspur supporters’ minds right now, and not just because Spurs are set to play at Brentford this Saturday in the late Premier League match. Eriksen’s incredible run of form for Brentford lately is second only to his stunning return to football in the first place, after his cardiac arrest incident during the EUROs this past summer. Eriksen took some time to bed in and get acclimated to high level football after he signed his short term deal with Brentford, but has been hugely important for the Bees who have won five of their last six matches.

Eriksen’s contract at Brentford expires at the end of the season, and other league clubs are now looking at the possibility of signing him on a free transfer. According to Fabrizio Romano, two of those clubs are Spurs and Leicester City.

“No talks” isn’t surprising — by Premier League rules, Eriksen can’t sign a pre-contract with another club until the month before his contract expires. That means Spurs probably wouldn’t make any sort of a move until May at the earliest. Previous reporting has also suggested that Eriksen is grateful to Brentford for giving him a chance and will first hold talks with the Bees about an extension out of respect.

That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Eriksen is very open to moving to a club with ambitions that are a bit higher than Premier League survival. Both Leicester and Spurs would be attractive options — both play quality high level football under talented managers (Brendan Rodgers and Antonio Conte), and you can absolutely see where Eriksen would fit in tactically at both clubs. It’s also more than possible — even likely — that more Premier League clubs would be interested in making an approach to sign Christian this summer.

We don’t know Eriksen’s mind. This has been discussed before, but it’s possible Christian thinks that his time at Spurs has come to its natural conclusion and he’d be more interested in looking elsewhere. That said, playing for Antonio Conte, a manager whom he’s familiar with and whose tactics he understands, makes a ton of sense. In quotes published in the Evening Standard today, Conte hinted that Eriksen’s familiarity with the tactics Conte employed while at Inter have served him well at Brentford, who employ similar tactics.

“At Inter we played with a 3-5-2 and at the time Christian was used to playing at Tottenham behind a striker in a 4-2-3-1. He needed time to understand my idea of football. But when he did, he became a really important player for us.

“I see at Brentford they are playing sometimes 3-5-2 and he is doing the same things he did with Inter by being their playmaker. But when you have a player with great availability to improve themselves and put themselves at the service of the team, it’s easier for a manager. And Christian is one of these types of player.”

While Conte didn’t talk about Eriksen returning to play for him again, it’s not too difficult to extrapolate from those comments that Conte would be more than happy to reunite with Eriksen this summer as he continues to retool Tottenham’s squad, hopefully for a title push.

Eriksen’s football future isn’t going to be decided anytime soon — we should expect plenty of links connecting Spurs to him from now until he decides on his future. But the fact that those links even exist at this point is encouraging. Eriksen has already proven that his career isn’t finished, and it’s clear to me that he would be an important piece in Conte’s Tottenham puzzle.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.) — Sean Walsh, a reporter for 90min.com on the Brentford beat, has a new article out this morning that says that Spurs are “confident” of being able to resign Eriksen this summer, but it’s contingent on a) Antonio Conte staying on, and possibly b) Champions League qualification.

The article also has a significant quote from Brentford manager Thomas Frank about Eriksen’s importance to the team.

“If [he leaves] for money or the Champions League, obviously then we can’t compete. I know that Christian in this moment in time is enjoying his football and I’m happy that he’s enjoying playing here. Hopefully he likes the environment, the atmosphere we have in the club, and if he chooses us in the end I hope it’s because he’s ambitious and wants to end as high as possible and push the team.

“Also the role here, obviously he’s got a big role, the team is more and more [important] these days it’s never a one man band, you know that. Even Man City is not only De Bruyne, he’s the main playmaker but you need more than one player. But of course there’s a lot of things that go through Christian. I guess that’s some of the bits.”