Hasenhuttl tight-lipped over Hojbjerg swap deal with Spurs

Will Ford

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl refused to discuss the possibility of a swap deal between Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and loanee Kyle Walker-Peters.

Hojberg, who has been stripped of the captaincy after refusing a new deal at St Mary’s, is reported to be keen on a move to Tottenham and Walker-Peters, who is on loan from the north London club, could be used as a makeweight in the deal.

The young right-back has impressed in his temporary stint at Saints and Jose Mourinho has said he would allow the player to leave if that is what he wanted.

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But, with three games in six days to prepare for, the first a home match with Brighton on Thursday, Hasenhuttl is not focusing on transfer rumours.

“I don’t concentrate so much on the transfer market to be honest,” he said. “I know we have some targets but it is such a busy time, I have to focus on getting a performance from my team and the opponents we are facing.

“It costs a lot of energy at the moment to find the right game plan. You can imagine if you are playing teams like (Manchester) City and United you need a perfect game otherwise you have no chance.

“So there is a lot of preparing, especially with two or three days between games.

“My scouts are giving me some information in the players that are of interest to us, we are busy in the background.”



The Austrian did concede his recruitment department were looking at centre-backs this summer, with the transfer window due to open on July 27.

But again he declined to comment on speculation linking Southampton with Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu.

“It’s right that we are looking in this position, but I don’t want to discuss or agree to these rumours,” Hasenhuttl said. “We always have some players in our minds and centre-back position is a position we want to do something.

“I think we have a little longer transfer window maybe to face, it’s important we don’t make as many signings but the signings we will make they must be perfect.

“We can be earlier, this season we can do it because we are on the safe side of being in the Premier League next season, last season it was different. We try to take this advantage and get the right players at the right moment.”

It is a quick turnaround for Saints following their impressive late 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Monday night.

There are no fresh injuries, with Jan Valery (muscle), Moussa Djenepo (calf) and Sofiane Boufal (thigh) still missing.

“No injury news, no new ones,” the boss added. “A few tired players now, this is the bigger issue. It is a very short time to recover, we had a very intense game, we ran much more than the opponent. It was a very intense game.”


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