By Noel Whelan

12th Jun, 2020 | 4:28pm

'He's going to want to join Tottenham' - Pundit exclusive: Spurs tipped to win 24-yr-old race

Southampton will be powerless if Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg decides he wants to move to Tottenham in the summer transfer window, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and Coventry striker claims that the Saints have got to be “fair” on the 24-year-old as he heads into the final year of his contract at St Mary’s.

As revealed by Football Insider, Southampton are likely to sell Hojbjerg this summer, with Spurs and Everton in hot pursuit, as it looks unlikely he will pen a new deal on the south coast.

Whelan admits there is very little Southampton can do if Hojbjerg wants to leave and suggests he would jump at the chance to join Spurs if they make a move this summer.

Asked what the Saints could do if the midfielder digs his heels in, Whelan told Football Insider: “Well, that’s it, nothing.

“You’ve got to keep your players on your side, especially a player who has been so important to Southampton. Now you’ve got a bigger club looking at him and he’s going to want to go to Tottenham if that’s the case.

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“He’s going to want to be part of that team so it’s important you don’t turn a player against the club and you start getting a player who will only do enough for you rather than the quality he’s been showing so far.

“You’ve got to be fair with the player, especially when they’re coming down to a year on their contract. You don’t want to lose them completely.”

Tottenham are understood to be looking to bolster their midfield this summer despite having the likes of Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko, Eric Dier, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso on their books.

Hojbjerg, a 33-cap international with Denmark, has got 104 Premier League games under his belt to date.

In other Tottenham news, it can be revealed how far the club are willing to stretch to sign Philippe Coutinho.