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Sky: Hojbjerg will only be allowed to leave... permanently

Now that sounds sinister, doesn’t it?

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Maybe it’s time Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg left Tottenham Hotspur... for good.

No, no, not in that way. But Lyall Thomas of Sky Sport is reporting that the club are only interested in permanent destinations for Spurs’ Danish midfielder, with short-term loans off the table. According to the report, Spurs are only considering permanent transfers or loans with an obligation to buy.

I wrote last month about interest from a number of clubs in Tottenham’s #5; and though it’s unclear as to whether Lyall has an actual source on this or if he’s just adding one and one to make two, this story does make a lot of sense - both from Tottenham’s position on his sale and perhaps as to why the aforementioned interest hasn’t materialized into something more substantial.

Hojbjerg has found minutes tough to come by under Ange Postecoglou, partly due to his fit (or lack thereof) in Ange’s midfield. Though the Dane is still a very good footballer, Ange likes extremely athletic (read: fast) players in his side. He also prefers players at the #6 who are skilled technically, with the ability to draw in a press before releasing the ball; and players at the #8 who can make intelligent attacking runs, as well as be a threat on goal. None of this quite describes Hojbjerg, who is probably most comfortable in a typical midfield double pivot.

When you then consider the fact that Hojbjerg is a reasonably valuable and saleable asset, AND that his contract is dwindling, it’s logical that Tottenham would want to both recoup a fee sooner rather than later AND have his wages off the books. It’s also logical that clubs on the continent have balked somewhat at this, with Spurs probably wanting in the realm of €25-30 million as a transfer fee - pricey for non-English clubs, and that’s before taking into account his wages.

With all that in mind, it’s likely he may not move until late in the January window - or not at all! The key issue with moving Hojbjerg is the club will likely want to reinvest, with the likes of Conor Gallagher linked, as well as a number of young, promising defensive midfielders. They will not want a repeat of the defensive situation seen earlier in the season, where Spurs were desperate for center back reinforcements after selling (arguably correctly) Davinson Sanchez.

One thing’s for sure: Hojbjerg is on his way out of Tottenham, and that may be now or in the summer; but if the January window thus far is anything to go by, Daniel Levy has Ange’s (and the club’s) best interests at heart, which may mean some exciting incomings. Stay tuned.