Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Hojbjerg stands up to Postecoglou’s Tottenham sale plan after revealing reasons for refusing to leave; big Bryan Gil Brighton decision made

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Bryan Gil are set to stay at Tottenham

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Bryan Gil are set to stay at Tottenham

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has revealed exactly why he has rejected the chance to leave Tottenham this month, with the player digging his heels in over an exit and preparing to fight for his place in Ange Postecoglou’s side.

The Dane was a regular under Antonio Conte last season, proving himself one of the Tottenham‘s stand-out players. But the arrival of Postecoglou as manager has seen his fortunes fade and he’s fallen down the pecking order with Pape Sarr, Yves Bissouma and more recently Rodrigo Bentacur all establishing themselves ahead of Hojbjerg.

The 28-year-old was almost offloaded to Atletico Madrid over the summer, though Spurs’ demand for a €25m (£21.3m) fee proved too steep for the Spanish giants. And while they again looked at his signing this month, they ultimately ending up splashing out a similar fee for Royal Antwerp’s young Belgian, Arthur Vermeeren.

Juventus have also been touted as a possible destination for the former Southampton midfielder, and they did explore the possibility of a deal too. However, with Massimiliano Allegri’s side needing more of a box-to-box midfielder, than a holding one, ala Hojbjerg, they ultimately ended up signing Carlos Alcarez from Southampton on loan with a view to a permanent €35m summer deal.

Hojbjerg was also the subject of an approach from Ligue 1 side Lyon this week, though the player rejected the chance of a move to France. As revealed by TEAMtalk sources, the midfielder considers himself a player of Champions League level only and did not want to drop to a side who are currently battling relegation to France’s second tier.

All the same, Spurs made it clear to Hojbjerg they would consider offers for him right up until the window closes.

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Hojbjerg digs heels in and decides to stay at Tottenham

However, in what looks like a clear attempt to undermine Tottenham’s wishes to sell him, the former Bayern Munich midfielder has now gone public with his plans to stay with Spurs.

And rather than go to war with his manager, he has chosen to praise Postecoglou and really rather cleverly talked up his desire to fight for his place in a club he sees as very much on the up.

“I definitely feel I can help the team. I would like to play every game, that’s no secret and, like I said, there’s ambition and the most important ambition is the team’s ambition,” said Hojbjerg, who currently has 18 months left on his deal at Spurs.

“We’re all ambitious but I think the important thing is to stay ambitious on behalf of the team and this is the main thing that we can all keep our ambitions from the team’s perspective.

“Of course, this is for me the key. The key is that we are playing for something. I always said in the past like I say now, is what drives me is the purpose of fighting for something and I definitely feel that Tottenham is fighting for something.

“This is for me the key and we are here to push, I’m here to help, I’m here to improve always and this is my target.”

Big decision made on Brighton linked Bryan Gil

Spurs are currently just just three points off second place and with Postecoglou not being shy about his side “being in the title race”, it seems Hojbjerg wants to stick around and enjoy the ride.

However, the 73-times capped Denmark star is refusing to look too far ahead.

He added: “I think next step is always what we’re looking for, next match, next win and that’s what we’re looking for. The talking is not coming from me, the next game and the next step – that’s what we’re looking for. This is the key. To have ambition in every game and that’s the key.

“I am enjoying my football. You have to stay steady and you have to be aware at all times because we are playing a very aggressive and front footed football so it’s definitely something that is keeping you alive. It’s nice.”

While Hojbjerg may not be first choice, his experience towards the end of games – and in the business end of the season – could prove invaluable to Postecoglou.

And the more players he has available, surely the better.

The same could also be said of Bryan Gil, another player whom Tottenham were willing to move on this month.

The Spain winger has been the subject of loan interest from Lazio, while this week both Brentford and Brighton have been linked with late window moves for his signature.

Of that trio, a move to the AMEX looked most likely. However, despite showing initial interest in a deal, the Seagulls have not followed up on that and the decision has seemingly not been made for Gil to also stay in N17 over the second half of the season.

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