Romano squashes £40m Tottenham bid reports as deal hinged on exit which was ‘never close’

Ciaran McCarthy
Conor Gallagher, Chelsea, August 2023
Conor Gallagher warming up ahead of game

Fabrizio Romano has stated Tottenham did not send a £40million bid for Conor Gallagher, as signing him would have hinged on the exit of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg which was “never really close”.

It was reported early on in the transfer window that Spurs midfielder Hojbjerg was ‘actively open’ to joining Atletico Madrid. That was after the La Liga outfit opened talks with Tottenham over the transfer.

Things appeared to be progressing well with that deal, as towards the end of July it was reported that the midfielder was ‘looking for a new house in Madrid’ as he anticipated making the move.

North London isn’t particularly close to Madrid, so it doesn’t feel like that’s the sort of place Hojbjerg would fancy living unless he was of the opinion the move to Atletico was going to go ahead.

Late on in the transfer window, Tottenham reportedly sent a bid of £40million to Chelsea for midfield man Gallagher. They’d been linked with him throughout the summer, coinciding with reports of Hojbjerg leaving.

However, transfer insider Romano has reported that didn’t actually happen. He states that while there was interest in Gallagher, Spurs ‘did not send any formal bid’.

He followed up by saying ‘talks were not advancing as Spurs were never really close to selling Hojbjerg to Atletico’. Indeed, it seems they’d have only attempted to sign Gallagher after the Dane left.

But given he was never actually close to leaving, there was no reason to replace him. Hojbjerg is one of a number of Tottenham’s players who looked like they would move on but ended up staying in north London.

Giovani Lo Celso was another member of that group, as was Hugo Lloris. However, the latter could still leave, as there are a few potential avenues that could be followed.

One of which is Tottenham tearing up his contract in order to ‘expedite the process’ of him finding a new club, as Ange Postecoglou has made it clear by not picking him in squads this season that he doesn’t want him.

Sides in Saudi Arabia and Turkey could also apparently crop up with interest ahed of the end of their respective transfer windows, on September 7 and 15.

If Lloris is to leave, it will not be overly unexpected, but then neither would Hojbjerg’s exit have been after reports, and he’s still at the club.

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