Manchester United are understood to have made “initial contact” over a deal for Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Hojbjerg has entered the final two years of his contract and Tottenham would allow him to leave if a suitable offer came in.
The Danish international was close to joining Atletico Madrid earlier this window.
The 28-year-old has only made two substitute appearances for Tottenham this season and has worked with Erik ten Hag before – the Dutchman managed Hojbjerg at Bayern Munich’s reserve team in 2013.
He also tried to sign him at Ajax before Hojbjerg left Southampton for Tottenham in 2020.
Other options include Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat and Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch.
Ten Hag likes both players and has managed them before – Amrabat at Utrecht and Gravenberch at Ajax.
While a deal for Amrabat cannot be ruled out, much of the speculation over a move is emanating from Italy. Amrabat is currently training away from the first-team squad while he reconciles his future.
There is still a chance there will not be any more major outfield incomings at Old Trafford this summer.
Analysis: Hojbjerg a strange pivot for Ten Hag
Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter:
“On the surface, this feels like a surprising twist in the Manchester United midfield saga, but falls into an established pattern of Erik ten Hag wanting to work with players he’s familiar with.
“It’s clear Man Utd need another central midfielder – certainly Ten Hag has made a case for it – but the purse strings are tight. There have been three incomings at Old Trafford this summer, and they’ve cost close to £200m. The remaining budget won’t stretch too much further.
“Hojbjerg might, therefore, fit Man Utd’s strained pricing structure, but surely isn’t the answer to Ten Hag’s desire for a young, dynamic ball player.
“Ten Hag made a beeline for Frenkie de Jong last summer, who does fit the intended profile, but would have cost significantly more than most other options on the market.
“Hojbjerg does indeed offer defensive intensity, and is combative and hard working, but lacks in possession.
“If Ten Hag wants a midfielder who can perform defensive duties, while being capable of launching quick counter-offensives in transition, playing on the half turn, and finding creative solutions in forward areas – in the mould of De Jong – he’d be better off shopping elsewhere.”
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