Everton Enter Talks for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as Tottenham Stall Over Move

Everton are reported to have got the ball rolling on a move for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, as the Dane's Southampton soap opera takes a major step towards its conclusion.

In an apparent bid to force through a move away, Hojbjerg told manager Ralph Hasenhuttl last month that he will not be renewing his contract, which expires in 12 months. Southampton didn't mess about in response; Hojbjerg was swiftly replaced by James Ward-Prowse as club captain, and he has now been left out of their last two matches - his last appearance coming, ironically, against Everton.

He has been a crucial part of a strong consolidating season for the Saints, however, and regardless of the melodrama, it looks as if there are at least two clubs prepared to offer him an exit route from the south coast. The aforementioned Toffees are one, while Tottenham, who have held a longstanding interest, are another.

As much as Hojbjerg has been touted as a central part of José Mourinho's budget overhaul, however, the BBC say Everton have skipped the queue. It's claimed that the Merseyside team's negotiators have started talks with a formal £14m bid plus add-ons, although that is just a starting bid which is unlikely to be accepted.

Tottenham may hold one advantage in the form of Kyle Walker-Peters. The Liverpool Echo claim that Southampton will consider players in exchange as an alternative to a huge cash offer, and with the Spurs defender having impressed on loan at St. Mary's, his inclusion in a potential deal could well prove to be a big check-mark in the north London side's column.

Tottenham, however, are yet to make an offer.

Hasenhuttl wouldn't be drawn into any serious speculation over the player's future when asked following Thursday's 1-1 draw with Brighton, though did allude to a 'less than perfect' situation, and hinted at a 'solution' one way or another.

"I cannot confirm anything because I don’t want to comment on speculation or rumours," he said.

"Generally he is our player, he has one more year on his contract, he doesn’t want to extend his contract and we will see what will happen in the summer. It is not perfect for a player to go into the last months of his contract.

"We’re hopeful of finding a solution that’s for the best."

Source : 90min