The ex-Tottenham midfielder believes the talented playmaker remains integral to plans in north London despite entering the final year of his contract
Tottenham should not be considering parting with Christian Eriksen for any less than £50 million ($61m), says Jermaine Jenas, despite the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid being attracted to a player in the final year of his contract.
The Denmark international had been sparking transfer talk prior to entering the last 12 months of his deal in north London.
Interest is now said to have been stepped up, with Spurs being forced into a position where some tough calls may have to be made.
Offers could be tabled from afar before windows close across Europe, with a decision then having to be made on whether to move Eriksen on or risk allowing him to head towards becoming a free agent.
“If Tottenham are offered anything less than £50m for Christian Eriksen this month, then they should keep him – even if it means he leaves for nothing next summer,” former Spurs midfielder Jenas told BBC Sport.
“Eriksen’s importance to the team was quite clear even just in Saturday’s win against Aston Villa, when he came on in the last half-an-hour with Spurs 1-0 down.
“I know Dele Alli was injured and Son Heung-min was suspended, but they needed Eriksen to get back into that game and for me he gives them something different to every other player in Tottenham’s squad.
“I think Spurs have had a very good summer transfer window in terms of the players they have brought in, but it would change my outlook on the strength of their squad if they lose Eriksen – and certain other players – now.
“I hope Eriksen stays, because he is so valuable to their chances of winning a trophy under Mauricio Pochettino.
“Spurs might see last week’s loan signing Giovani lo Celso as a direct replacement for Eriksen, so they are ready if the right bid comes in, but they will be much stronger if he stays.”
With speculation still mounting around Eriksen, Jenas added: “If they do get £50m, they will have done wonders – but any offers they get before the end of this month, when the transfer window closes in the rest of Europe, are likely to be a lot less than that.
“In terms of the difference it could make to Tottenham’s season, there are other players who I would be more willing to off-load to off-set some of the money they could lose out on by keeping Eriksen – Erik Lamela and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou for example.
“Part of it comes down to what the player himself is thinking, of course.
“Eriksen is 27 and said earlier this summer that he is at the stage of his career where he ‘might want to try something new’, and Real Madrid are reportedly interested in him.
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“But he also spoke about the possibility of signing a new Spurs contract and of course he could always let his existing deal run down, knowing next year he can go for free.
“That is a win-win situation for him, because there would be no issues over which club meets Tottenham’s asking price. They can get him for free, and his wages will reflect that, so I don’t think he would sulk if he does end up staying with Spurs for another year.”
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has vowed not to freeze contract rebels out of his plans, with Belgian defensive duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in a similar position to Eriksen as their respective deals run down.