Yesterday, Matty wrote that if Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg leaves Tottenham Hotspur at all, it’ll be on a permanent deal and not on loan. That doesn’t stop various rumors linking him with moves away from Tottenham, however. The two that keep popping up in various media aggregators are both Italian clubs — Napoli and Juventus.
However, there are problems with both of these rumors, according to Gianluca DiMarzio. Our good buddy Gianluca recently gave an interview with the Danish publication Tipsbladet where he essentially poured cold water on either Serie A club striking a deal with Spurs for Hojbjerg in this window, and the primary reason in both cases is that they’re both basically broke.
“Two clubs have been after Hojbjerg – Juventus and Napoli. Napoli tried to get him, but he has probably been too expensive for it to happen. Højbjerg costs a lot and requires a high salary, which Napoli couldn’t afford.
“Juventus can afford him, but the club’s problem is that they can’t spend more money right now. Imagine you’re in your car, and it’s running out of gas – there’s an alarm and that alarm is on when it comes to Juventus’ liquidity.”
Facile simile aside, DiMarzio has a pretty good grasp on what is and isn’t financially possible for Italian football clubs, so I’m inclined to believe this. It also kind of makes sense — we’ve been hearing a lot of news about how little liquidity there is in football outside of the Premier League, so the suggestion that two prominent Italian clubs are a bunch of broke bois doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
DiMarzio goes on to suggest that the most likely scenario is that Hojbjerg stays at Spurs, at least until this coming summer.
“When it’s on, it’s simply not possible to go out and spend a lot of money on new players. Juventus can loan Hojbjerg with a purchase option, but Tottenham only wants to loan Højbjerg with an obligation to buy.”
“If Tottenham changes their mind towards the end of the transfer window and agrees to a loan deal with a purchase option, the situation may change, but otherwise, it won’t happen. I don’t think Hojbjerg will come to Serie A this month.”
Sounds right to me. What isn’t clear is how central a Hojbjerg sale is to Tottenham’s reported plans to purchase another central midfielder with what remains of the January transfer window. If a new player coming in is contingent on Pierre being sold, that suggests Spurs may stand pat and roll with the players they already have. But if Spurs can get a tune out of a club like Juventus and find a solution such as an extended payment plan or a loan with a purchase obligation, maybe we’ll see Hojbjerg moved on. Either way, like DiMarzio I doubt this happens until the very end of the window.