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Telegraph: Spurs have replacement in mind for Hojbjerg

It’s just a rumor, but it’s not nothing.

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England v North Macedonia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

Silly Season has yet to reach it’s final form, baby. In fact, it’s just getting warmed up!

Earlier in the window, there were very loose reports that Tottenham Hotspur were interested in Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher as a potential replacement for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg if Spurs found a willing buyer for the Danish International. The reports are at least plausible now as Mike McGrath states in the Telegraph that Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou is an admirer of the English International.

Spurs are looking at midfield options as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been targeted by Atletico Madrid and clubs in Germany, with Gallagher emerging as a contender to compete for a place under Postecoglou.

The new manager at Tottenham has brought in James Maddison, has Tanguy Ndombele returning from his Napoli loan and young midfielders in Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr, with Rodrigo Bentancur recovering from a serious knee injury. Hojbjerg was the mainstay of Tottenham’s midfield last season and his departure would need a player to come in with the box-to-box energy of Gallagher.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is an admirer of Gallagher and a move will come down to whether he is deemed a player who can be sold this summer. There has been previous interest from Newcastle United, who have since signed Sandro Tonali in that position, and he has been linked with Aston Villa.

This is a lot of “we already know this” kind of reporting, but hearing that Mauricio Pochettino is an admirer of Gallagher might not be enough as Chelsea are currently in mid-fire sale and trying to offload as much of their roster as they can while also appeasing our former manager. The important question is how much does Chelsea think they can get for the 23-year-old?

Gallagher could cost up to £50 million in the current market, reflecting his resale value at 23 and because he is a homegrown talent. After coming through the ranks of Chelsea’s Academy at Cobham, he broke into the first team last season after loans at Charlton, Swansea, West Brom and Crystal Palace.

Well...okay, that’s probably about what we expected. As McGrath says, it ticks a few major boxes in the Premier League: Young. Homegrown. International caps. All of those drive the price up in the richest league in the world.

Personally, I’m extremely meh on Gallagher. I think he’s a perfectly capable box-to-box midfielder but his passing isn’t the best (46th percentile via FBRef) and there’s more to being a midfielder than just “he brings energy.” Maybe I’m off my rocker, but £50 million is a huge chunk of change. Do Spurs need a guy like this? Almost certainly, especially with possible outgoings. And yes, that high energy would be nice to have with Ange’s pressing system.

There’s also the little problem that this is Chelsea we’re talking about, and while it’s a new ownership group over at Stamford Bridge, selling to rivals is still a thing that is dicey. While I don’t think it’s impossible to get a deal done, I think the deck is extremely stacked against Daniel Levy if he wants to pursue this.

For now, I think the price tag is a bit high and if you can knock a chunk of that tag off or rope some of it into add-ons, it’s easier to swallow. I’m not naïve, though: It’s England, he’s homegrown and young, and is going to take a few Brinks trucks to pry away from a London rival.