Hasenhuttl Comments Suggest Contract Issues With Hojbjerg
Wednesday, 3rd Jun 2020 14:49
Comments from Ralph Hasenhuttl regarding Pierre Emile Hojbjerg seem to suggest that the Danish midfieler is stalling on signing a new deal with Saints.
There are some Saints supporters who are not convinced about Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, they feel that his performances have been less than convincing at times, perhaps in his first two seasons that accusation could be levelled at him, at the start of his second year he was way down in the pecking order under Mauricio Pellegrino and could not even get on the bench at one stage, however he knuckled down and won his place back.
Since that he has prospered and been first choice for the 2 1/2 seasons, he has been a steady influence in the centre of midfield and been versatile when needed, yes perhaps he hasn't imposed himself as much as we would have hoped, but then few players have in what has been a difficult and transitional period for the team, but as he comes into the final year of his contract it seems that he is in no hurry to commit himself again.
The media suggest that he is Spurs number one transfer target and there are few who rate him that highly, especially Spurs fans who were hoping that the arrival of Jose Mourinho would see some big name signings .
Everton another club who in the last four years since their new owner arrived have been known to but a few over inflated flops are also said to be hovering.
So why is that, well the answer could lie in PEH's current agent Pini Zahavi, a man who came to prominence in the 80/90's and was also responsible for the acquisition of Chelsea by Roman Abramhovich and subsequently the arrival of a number of high profile signings by the club, Zahavi was said to have netted £5 million in agents fees from the £111, million the club spent that summer.
But perhaps an interesting fact is that in 2005 Zahavi was reported by the FA for his role in the alleged tapping up of Ashley Cole in his move from Arsenal to Chelsea, by now Zahavi was working closely with Jose Mourinho and also Cole's agent Jonathan Barnett.
Chelsea, Mourinho and Cole were all fined for their part in the affair, while Barnett was fined £100,000 and had his licence suspended by the FA for 18 months, later reduced to a 12-month ban. Neither the FA nor the Premier League had any jurisdiction over Zahavi but referred the matter to FIFA.
Zahavi was also involved in the sale of Portsmouth to Gaydamak and a big part in bringing so many players in who the club it turned out could not afford.
The gist of this is that Zahavi makes his money by brokering deals and this is perhaps why Pierre Emile Hojbjerg is suddenly such big business, linking him with Spurs will not do any harm to the reputation of Hojbjerg and will encourage clubs like Everton to get in quick to steal a march on their rivals.
So the question is has Hojbjerg's head been turned ? and how much real interest is there in the player, is Zahavi looking after his client's best interests or merely trying to make money ?
It has echoes of the situation with Jose Fonte four years ago when the players new agent tried to broker deals that were never really going to happen, but the players head was turned and his relationship with the club soured, Fonte got his move, but not to Manchester United but West Ham, a good move for his wallet, not his career.
It now seems that Ralph Hasenhuttl is starting to get frustrated by the situation judging by the comments he has made to Radio Solent hinting that he cannot have a Captain who is not committed to the cause.
“It’s not good for him and I don’t think the situation would be good for him,”
“As a captain, you cannot lead a team without extending your contract. This is always difficult.
“We must look at what we have. I think we should avoid letting players go without a transfer fee. This is what we should avoid.
“It’s not good to go into the last year of your contract – especially as a young player with a big future.
“This is not the ideal situation, but we have opportunities to handle it and we will have talks with other players and find a decision.”.
Clearly Hasenhuttl is not going to sit around and wait to see what happens, he knows what the player is worth both in transfer fee and the squad, links with the likes of Celtic's Olivier Ntcham suggests that the Saints boss feels he can get as good in replacement for Hojbjerg at a far cheaper price than he will be able to sell Hojbjerg for.
We will see in the next few weeks where this one goes.
Photo: Action Images
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