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Spurs midfielder talked to German club about transfer

Lewis Holtby to Hamburg? There's a report in a German paper that suggests some real movement in that direction.

Julian Finney

There have been rumblings in the media that Lewis Holtby could be headed to Hamburger SV. HSV Director Dietmar Beiersdorfer then confirmed that the club was interested in Holtby. A further confirmation of the story has now been published in the Hamburger Morgenpost. The Morgenpost is a tabloid and the report is a bit lacking in detail, so I'm not sure entirely how much weight to put on this. But it does add some useful context from the HSV side of the story.

Also, did you know that the Morgenpost is serendipitously known as the MOPO? It's true.

My best squint and google attempt at translating the story, which appears to be written in a kind of allusive, informal German that's a bit far removed from the academic papers I'm used to.

Lewis Holtby, Tottenham Hotspur's unhappy midfield dynamo, is the focus of HSV. The Red Shorts have spoken to Holtby. There is just one hurdle: there is not enough cash for a transfer to Hamburg.

That is to say: HSV have to save salary before the Holtby bid can heat up. According to our sources, HSV Director Dietman Beiersdorfer already met with Holtby. This signalled his interest to move to HSV. He is not happy in England, at Tottenham he is on the sidelines.

I'm not entirely clear on what signalled Holtby's interest, the German is just "Dieser." I think they're not saying that the MOPO knows what was discussed in the meeting and that Holtby signalled interest in a move, but rather that the fact of the meeting signals Holtby's interest. It's also not clear that they know Holtby is unhappy, or if they're just extrapolating his unhappiness from his bench role.

I do think it is a big deal if Holtby has taken the step of talking to Beiersdorfer and suggests that something real is happening on the possible transfer front. But the lack of funds at Hamburg to buy Holtby sounds like a major issue, as I cannot see Daniel Levy allowing a key, young backup player to move away for anything less than a solid market price.

I have been skeptical of a possible Holtby move, given his importance as a backup and Cup/Europa player if Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela are going to be starting together every week in the league. But there are now enough indicators that I think something is being discussed, at some level. This is a story worth following.