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Tottenham Hotspur interested in Sporting Lisbon's Morten Hjulmand?

Tottenham interested in Sporting's Morten Hjulmand?
© Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly admirers of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Morten Hjulmand, whose contract includes an €80m (£68.5m) release clause.

Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly taken an interest in Sporting Lisbon and Denmark midfielder Morten Hjulmand.

The 24-year-old - formerly on the books at Copenhagen, Admira Wacker and Lecce - has made an immediate impression in Portugal since leaving the latter club for an €18m (£15.4m) fee in the summer transfer window.

Primarily a defensive midfielder but also competent as a number eight or even as a number 10, Hjulmand has already amassed two goals and four assists from 36 games for Sporting during his debut year.

The Scandinavian has started 20 Primeira Liga matches for Ruben Amorim's men, who lie one point clear of Benfica at the top of the table with a game in hand, and seven of their eight Europa League contests thus far.

Hjulmand had earned his first senior Denmark call-up before donning the Sporting jersey, but the midfielder has now played for the national team on three occasions, starting a Euro 2024 qualifying loss to Northern Ireland back in November.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou reacts on January 31, 2024© Reuters

The 24-year-old's contract with Sporting runs until the end of the 2027-28 campaign, although his terms reportedly include a release clause worth €80m (£68.5m), offering him an exit route for the right price.

Hjulmand and Sporting will be back in Europa League action this week, hosting Atalanta BC in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday, where scouts are expected to be in attendance to run the rule over promising players.

According to Portuguese outlet Record, Tottenham have their eye on Hjulmand, and the North London giants have already deployed members of their scouting team to watch the Dane in action.

Representatives from Spurs were supposedly present in the first leg of Sporting's Taca de Portugal semi-final with Benfica on February 29, where Hjulmand registered an assist for a Pedro Goncalves header in a 2-1 win.

The report states that Sporting are braced for an official bid from Tottenham for the Denmark international, who has supported Arsenal from a young age and even has the Gunners' commemorative 125-year crest from the 2011-12 season tattooed on his shoulder.

Tottenham Hotspur's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg during the warm up before the match on October 27, 2023© Reuters

Despite his allegiance to their bitter adversaries, Tottenham are said to have earmarked Hjulmand as an ideal midfield signing to replace Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who is expected to be on his way out this summer.

The former Southampton man is only under contract in North London until the end of next season, and he recently changed agent to USG Italy's Luca Puccinelli in anticipation of a transfer elsewhere.

Hojbjerg remained in North London during the January transfer window despite links with a move to Juventus, who could reignite their interest in the summer after Paul Pogba was given a four-year ban for doping.

As well as Hjulmand's compatriot, Oliver Skipp is supposedly facing an uncertain future in North London, having only started four Premier League games this season due to the form of Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma.

Tottenham came from behind to defeat London rivals Crystal Palace 3-1 on Saturday afternoon, thereby remaining five points behind Aston Villa - who have played a game more - in fifth place in the Premier League table.

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