Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has told Tottenham Hotspur he wants to leave for Atletico Madrid in an attempt to lower his own price tag, according to reports.
Hojbjerg has become a top target for Atletico, who are aiming to add a defensive midfielder to their squad. Although the Denmark international has been a regular starter for Spurs in the past three seasons, his future in north London is up for question.
Atletico are also considering Marco Verratti from Paris Saint-Germain and Sofyan Amrabat from Fiorentina. However, they believe Hojbjerg would have the most accessible price tag.
Under contract with Tottenham until 2025, Hojbjerg has been warming to the idea of leaving for Spain. And according to Mundo Deportivo, the midfielder has now made his intentions clear.
The report claims Hojbjerg has told his representatives, as well as Atletico and Tottenham themselves, that he wants to join Diego Simeone’s side.
By communicating his intentions to his current employers, he hopes Tottenham will reduce their demands to Atletico in terms of his transfer fee – which has previously been cited as €45m (£38.8m).
Keen for a ‘change of scenery’ after seven years in the Premier League, Hojbjerg has been ‘enormously seduced’ by Atletico, according to the report.
In fact, he has given his ‘total predisposition’ to sign for Atletico. After spells in Denmark, Germany and England, the 27-year-old could therefore move to Spain for his first taste of La Liga.
Furthermore, he would have Champions League involvement on offer with Atletico, whereas Tottenham are out of Europe altogether next season after their eighth-place finish.
Atletico want to wrap up latest signing from Spurs
Simeone is eager to secure the signing of Hojbjerg or any other suitable holding midfielder as soon as possible. Atletico’s season is due to begin on August 14, when they host Granada in the league.
Despite spending more years at Southampton, Tottenham are the club Hojbjerg has made the most appearances for (145) in his career.
Yet he could be in line to become the latest player to move from Spurs to Atletico after Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty did last season. Neither of them have stayed in the Spanish capital for the long term, though.
If Tottenham sell Hojbjerg, they would have to find a suitable replacement. A recent report suggested they are interested in Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa or Conor Gallagher from Chelsea.
The other central midfielders that remain at their disposal include Oliver Skipp, Yves Bissouma, Rodrigo Bentancur and new signing James Maddison (who is admittedly a more attacking option than Hojbjerg).