Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has made his feelings clear on the future of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after reports in Spain suggested Atletico Madrid were planning a fresh approach to lure him to LaLiga in the January window.
The Danish star was one of Tottenham‘s most reliable performers last season in a season that promised so much but ultimately delivered nothing more than a disappointing eighth-placed finish. And when Ange Postecoglou was brought in as manager, big changes were on the horizon, with Hojbjerg one of those falling victim to the new-look regime.
And with Yves Bissouma and Pape Sarr firmly established as first-choice paring in Postecoglou’s preferred 4-2-3-1 set-up, Hojbjerg has cut something of a frustrated figure on the sidelines.
That said, the 28-year-old has still managed 13 Premier League appearances, albeit 11 of these coming off the substitutes bench. And his total of just 480 minutes in the competition is clearly an issue, leading to speculation that the former Southampton man is pushing to quit.
To that end, Hojbjerg was strongly linked with a move to Atletico Madrid over the summer, who were ultimately put off by Tottenham’s €35m (£30m) valuation.
And despite multiple efforts from Diego Simeone’s side to talk Spurs into a deal, a sale was not forthcoming, leaving Atlei to instead rely on youngster Pablo Barrios, who has since picked up an injury.
As a result, the Rojoblancos have been forced to use Koke in a defensive midfield role, though, as noted by Mundo Deportivo, the Spain international ‘does not have a good time there’.
Now the same source is reporting that Atletico are set to renew their efforts to prise Hojbjerg away from Spurs to plug the gap.
Atletico enquiries for Hojbjerg to fall flat as Levy stands ground
Per the report, Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil and sporting director Andrea Berta are ‘still attentive’ towards Hojbjerg and have now seemingly accepted they were wrong not to meet his valuation, especially in light of the way prices for the game’s top midfielders has risen.
But any hopes they have of now persuading Tottenham into his sale appear over before they have even begun with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy seemingly ‘refusing to accept’ any offers for the player.
Indeed, MD states it is ‘no longer clear’ that Spurs will accept bids for a player, who will likely see his situation at N17 change for the better.
And while that may come as a disappointment to the player, who was reportedly keen on making the move to the Wanda Metropolitano, his situation at Spurs appears likely to change for the better.
That’s after Rodrigo Bentacur suffered a fresh ankle ligaments injury, which is likely to rule the Uruguayan star out of action until mid February.
And with both Sarr and Bissouma due to take part in the African Cup of Nations in the new year – potentially seeing them miss up to six weeks of action for Spurs – Levy has decided, in conversation with Postecoglou that Hojbjerg cannot be sold now at any cost.
Mundo Deportivo notes that Tottenham will, as a result, very quickly rebuff any approach from Atleti for the midfielder, while it will be a similar story for Juventus, who, like the Spaniards, were also very much keen on the Dane.
The situation could yet change for Hojbjerg and Atleti come the summer, but for the January window at least, his hopes of a move away are seemingly now over.