Hojbjerg contract snub rumours wide of the mark
Reports Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has turned down a new deal at Southampton are understood to be wide of the mark, with contract talks still on hold.
Head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at West Ham that the club had decided to put negotiations on hold until they reached the 36-point mark in order for players to focus on matters on the pitch.
The 3-1 defeat at the London Stadium means the club remain two points short of their target although that hasn’t stopped rumours circulating regarding the future of captain Hojbjerg.
The Austria international will see his deal at St Mary’s expire at the end of the 2020/21 season and Football Insider had reported at the weekend that Hojbjerg had recently knocked back the offer of an extension.
The local newspaper in Southampton, the Daily Echo, has since reported the rumours regarding the 24-year-old’s rejection are false and that there hasn’t been a change in the club’s stance in putting contract talks on hold until they feel their Premier League status has been assured.
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Securing Hojbjerg to a new long-term deal is likely to be the first job on the list for Southampton once they do pass the 36-point threshold, with several clubs thought to be keeping a close eye on the midfielder.
Tottenham have been strongly linked recently and were thought to be plotting a January move.
Although that didn’t come to fruition, Hojbjerg’s decision to link up with agent Pini Zahavi, who counts Spurs boss Jose Mourinho amongst his clientele, has only heightened talk he’s destined for north London.
Everton and Arsenal are also thought to be big fans of the ex-Bayern Munich man although Hojbjerg is delaying any decision on his future until the end of the season.
It is understood he’ll wait to see where Southampton finish in the Premier League standings before exploring his options.
Hojbjerg has been one of Southampton’s most consistent performers this season and was recently ranked by Who Scored as having won possession more often than any other midfielder in the Premier League this season.