Southampton manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, has hinted that this is likely to be Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s last season at St Mary’s amidst interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
It has been well publicised over the past two months that Hojbjerg has only one year left to run on his contract with the Saints (Ekstra Bladet via Sport Witness), and the midfielder has not been shy of revealing his ambitions of playing at a higher level (Sport 1).
However, the Austrian has continued to show faith in the Denmark international, with Hojbjerg starting both of Southampton’s matches since the restart.
Following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on Thursday, the Southampton boss opened up on the midfielder’s role in the side and hinted that he is expected to leave this summer.
As quoted by Hampshire Live, Hasenhuttl said: “It’s important for the team to have a clear message of what we want to have.
“The captain is a special position in a squad because he is the leader. He is normally going forward and steps ahead of everybody. He tries to push everybody.
“I don’t mean Pierre [Hojbjerg] cannot do this without his captain’s role. But in general, it’s not absolutely perfect if you go into your last season being the captain and say, ‘I don’t want to extend my contract’.
“Then you must look for players who stay with us longer.
“I think it was a clear message from my side and both players (Hojbjerg and Ward-Prowse) understood it completely.
“It doesn’t mean I have a lower meaning about Pierre, because he knows that I really appreciate what he does for this club and how professionally he works for this team.
“He, as me, wants to be at the highest possible position in the table when he should leave for the summer. If he goes and we are eighth or ninth, then it would be fantastic for him.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It is pretty clear at this point that Southampton want to cash in on Hojbjerg this summer. The midfielder looks as if he is angling for a move to Spurs given that he decided to recently link up with super-agent Pini Zahavi, who has good contacts with the North London club. However, it remains to be seen if we are able to agree on a fee with Southampton given that the likes of Everton are also said to be interested. I can certainly see this deal dragging on until the final weeks of the transfer window.
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