Tottenham Hotspur are set to offer Christian Eriksen a new contract, reportedly double his current salary, as they look to fend of interest from Europe’s top clubs.
The Danish playmaker has been with Spurs since 2013 and has established himself as one of Mauricio Pochettino’s star players in recent seasons.
However, Eriksen has expressed a desire to ‘try something new’, leading to suggestions that he would leave the club before the end of the European transfer window.
The report claims that a failure to secure Eriksen’s signature in the next few days will start the process of the club looking to actively sell him in this window as they look to avoid losing him on a free next summer.
Why has he not left yet?
Despite reported interest from Manchester United in the lead up to deadline day, Eriksen did not move to Old Trafford, citing a desire to make a ‘step up’ should he leave Spurs.
With the European transfer window’s not closing until the end of the month; Eriksen could still leave for a European side this summer with Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid mooted as possible destinations for him.
However, as Eriksen is in the final year of his contract, he is free to discuss a pre-contract agreement with European clubs from January; a proposition which must be more appealing to the aforementioned clubs than a negotiation tussle with Spurs’ Daniel Levy.
The deadline day signing of Giovani Lo Celso appeared to signal the end for Eriksen at Spurs, with the Argentine capable of playing in the same position as his Danish counterpart.
However, whilst Lo Celso did not make the matchday squad against Aston Villa on Saturday, Eriksen did, and he made a telling impact on the game with Spurs creating more chances during his 26-minute cameo than they did before his introduction.
This demonstrates the importance he still has, and tying him down to a new deal would be a statement of intent if the Spurs hierarchy could get the deal done.
What will happen?
Eriksen’s contract situation is unique for Spurs in the sense that the club have often looked to tie their best players down to long term contracts to restrict player power in scenarios such as this since Sol Campbell’s move to Arsenal in 2001.
Players have often been given the ultimatum of signing a new contract or being sold with two years remaining on their deals, but with no new signings last summer, this general rule did not apply to Eriksen – or Toby Alderweireld for that matter.
The situation as far as Eriksen is concerned is also more complex than it may appear.
With no club making a concrete offer to Spurs for his services, he must decide whether to leave on a free next summer and potentially tarnish his legacy amongst supporters after what would be seven years at the club.
Alternatively, he could push through a move this summer, but with Spurs looking to sell him to Atletico Madrid, he may miss out on his preferred move.
Finally, he could sign a new contract and remain at the club.
Whilst this may appear to be the least likely option at this point, his impact on the team is still as strong as it has ever been; and this would be a welcome boost to Spurs as he remains the clubs’ chief creative source – as he demonstrated once more last Saturday.