Newcastle United are reportedly weighing up a surprise move for combative Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this summer.
The report from the Daily Mirror states that the cash-rich Magpies have identified the Denmark international as a potential £30million addition to their squad, with another big spend expected this summer.
The 26-year-old joined Spurs from Southampton in a bargain £15million deal in 2020, penning a five-year contract.
Hojbjerg was a mainstay of Jose Mourinho’s midfield and has carried that over to Antonio Conte’s tenure. However, competition for places was lifted by Rodrigo Bentancur’s arrival from Juventus in January.
Indeed, Conte would have had an interesting call to make had Oliver Skipp not suffered a season-ending injury in January.
But Hojbjerg and Bentancur have produced a solid midfield base for Conte’s side to work from, although their lack of creativity has been evident in the last two Tottenham games.
The north London side have seen their top-four challenge dip after defeat to Brighton and a draw at Brentford.
That has led to rumours that Conte will look for a more creative player to play alongside Bentancur or Skipp, which could leave Hojbjerg out in the cold.
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The Mirror adds that Tottenham may well listen to offers for the player, if the right one comes along.
Homegrown quota a Tottenham concern
There is also the fact that Spurs need to up their homegrown quota. That scenario may led to Hojbjerg’s exit rather than an expected one for Harry Winks.
Winks was strongly tipped to head to Newcastle in January but nothing materialised. And it would now appear that the Toon have moved on to another Tottenham man instead.
If Conte does decide to part company with the disruptive ball-winner, it’s expected that a more of a playmaking midfielder will arrive to give a sometimes one-paced Tottenham side more dynamism in the middle of the park.
Conte’s men are next in action when they host Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday.