Everton have reportedly made an offer of £18 million for Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
According to the Telegraph, the Blues have made their first significant move of the summer before the season’s conclusion by bidding for Hojbjerg, who has been linked with a move to Goodison Park for some time.
The Danish international, 24, was stripped of the Southampton captaincy by manager Ralph Hasenhuttl in June after admitting he wanted to leave the club in the summer transfer window, which opens on July 27.
Though, the Telegraph also report that Tottenham will rival Everton for his signature, and will offer Kyle Walker-Peters, on loan at Southampton from Spurs, in a part-exchange deal.
Everton’s midfield has been the root of many supporters’ ire this season, with Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Idrissa Gueye’s replacement, sidelined since August, and André Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph all struggling for form.
And the news of the bid for Hojbjerg broke minutes after another disappointing performance culminated in a 1-1 draw with lowly Aston Villa.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti was asked about a deal for Hojbjerg following the game, but was unsurprisingly bullish about a player still contracted to another club:
“I don’t want to talk about this. It is unfair to talk about a player that is at another club in this moment.”
Hojbjerg joined Southampton in July 2016 from Bayern Munich for roughly £13 million, and started in their match with Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday evening; his 133rd appearance in a Saints shirt.