Hasenhuttl plays it cool when asked about Hojbjerg swap with Spurs

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Ralph Hasenhuttl was giving little away when questioned if Tottenham and Southampton will organise a swap deal with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Kyle Walker-Peters.

Hojberg, who has been stripped of the captaincy after refusing a new deal at St Mary’s, is reported to be keen on a move to Tottenham. Walker-Peters, who is on loan from Spurs, could be used as a makeweight in the deal.

The young right-back has impressed in his temporary stint at Saints and Jose Mourinho has said he would allow the player to leave if he wanted.

But, with three games in six days to prepare for, the first a home match with Brighton on Thursday, Hasenhuttl is not focusing on transfer rumours.

“I don’t concentrate so much on the transfer market to be honest,” he said. “We have some targets but it is such a busy time. I have to focus on getting a performance from my team and the opponents we are facing.

“It costs a lot of energy at the moment to find the right game plan. You can imagine if you are playing teams like (Manchester) City and United you need a perfect game otherwise you have no chance.

“So there is a lot of preparing, especially with two or three days between games.

“My scouts are giving me some information in the players that are of interest to us, we are busy in the background.”


Saints linked with Salisu

The Austrian did concede his recruitment department were looking at centre-backs this summer, with the transfer window due to open on July 27.

But again he declined to comment on speculation linking Southampton with Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu.

“It’s right that we are looking in this position, but I don’t want to discuss or agree to these rumours,” Hasenhuttl said. “We always have some players in our minds and centre-back position is a position we want to do something.

Mohammed Salisu

“I think we have a little longer transfer window maybe to face. It’s important we don’t make as many signings but the signings we will make they must be perfect.

“We can be earlier. This season we can do it because we are on the safe side of being in the Premier League next season. Last season it was different. We try to take this advantage and get the right players at the right moment.”

It is a quick turnaround for Saints following their late 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Monday.

There are no fresh injuries, with Jan Valery (muscle), Moussa Djenepo (calf) and Sofiane Boufal (thigh) still missing.

“No injury news, no new ones,” the boss added. “A few tired players now, this is the bigger issue. It is a very short time to recover. We had a very intense game, we ran much more than the opponent. It was a very intense game.”