Tottenham have opened preliminary talks over a summer deal to sign Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Football Insider understands.

The London giants have made the 24-year-old their top central midfield target this summer and have been given encouragement he wants to quit Southampton.

A Spurs source has told Football Insider that the club have held early discussions with Hojbjerg’s camp over a move.

The Denmark international has knocked back multiple Saints attempts to extend his deal expiring next year and gone public with his desire to join a more ambitious club.

Tellingly, he has been stripped of the Southampton captaincy by Ralph Hasenhuttl and has not made their squad for each of their last two matches.

There is a growing likelihood Hojbjerg will leave in the next transfer window.

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Southampton had valued him at around the £25million mark in January but £20m may be enough to seal the deal this summer.

Intriguingly, as revealed by Football Insider last month, the south coast club have identified Olivier Ntcham of Celtic as a potential replacement for Hojbjerg.

Spurs will not have a major transfer budget this summer and are likely to have to sell to bring in reinforcements.

Hojbjerg played a pivotal role in Southampton’s revival either side of the lockdown before his omission.

The former Bayern Munich star has started 29 of Southampton’s 33 Premier League matches this season among 35 appearances in all competitions.

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