Real Madrid eye Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as Casemiro replacement

·2 min read
Real Madrid eye Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as Casemiro replacement - GETTY IMAGES
Real Madrid eye Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as Casemiro replacement - GETTY IMAGES

Real Madrid are considering a bid for Tottenham Hotspur’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to replace the Manchester United-bound Casemiro.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer of Hojbjerg and tried to sign the midfielder for Everton when the Italian was in charge at Goodison Park.

Hojbjerg has three years left on his contract at Tottenham after moving from Southampton in 2020 for a fee of around £15 million. The Denmark international become Jose Mourinho’s first signing that summer and has remained a key player for Spurs under Antonio Conte.

At one point, though, it looked like Everton had beaten Spurs to Hojbjerg’s signature with personal terms agreed and Ancelotti pushing for the deal. In the end Hojbjerg chose Spurs after they made a late move.

However the signing of Rodrigo Bentancur in January and the arrival of Yves Bissouma has increased the competition in the Spurs midfield with Oliver Skipp working his way back to fitness. It remains to be seen whether Spurs would consider selling Hojbjerg should Real push ahead with a bid although Conte will surely demand a replacement should he be allowed to go.

The 27-year-old will also have to weigh up how much playing time he will get before the World Cup in November. A factor in Casemiro accepting United’s offer was the fact the Brazilian was benched last weekend with new £68 million signing, 22-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni starting.

Ancelotti confirmed on Friday morning that Casemiro was joining United on a four-year deal with an option for a fifth for the 30-year-old. I talked to [Casemiro] this morning. He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity. I and the club understand it. With what he’s done at this club and the person he is, we have to respect it. There are talks right now, nothing is official, but he wants to leave.”

Meanwhile, Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele has joined Napoli on loan for the rest of the season, with an option to make the move permanent.

Frenchman Ndombele joined Spurs from Lyon during the summer of 2019, going on to make a total of 91 appearances and scoring 10 goals. After finding first-team chances limited under Antonio Conte, Ndombele, 25, spent the second half of last season back in Ligue 1 with Lyon.

A club statement from the Serie A side read: "Napoli announces that it has acquired the sporting performances of Tanguy Ndombele from Tottenham Hotspur on a temporary basis with the right of redemption [a permanent transfer]."