(Reuters) – Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen says he is ready to leave Tottenham Hotspur to take on a new challenge at another club ahead of next season.
Eriksen, who arrived at Spurs from Ajax Amsterdam in August 2013, has been a pivotal figure in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad which finished runners-up to Liverpool in the Champions League and took fourth place in the Premier League.
“I feel that I am at a stage of my career where I would like to try something new,” the 27-year-old Eriksen told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
“I have the deepest respect for everything that is happening at Tottenham and it would not be something negative to stay. But I have also said that I would like to try something new.
“I hope that something will be decided this summer. That is the plan. In football you never know when there could be a decision like that. It could be at any point.”
Eriksen has one year left on his Spurs contract and Spanish media reports have linked him with a move to Real Madrid, who are looking to revamp the squad under Zinedine Zidane after a disappointing season in which they finished third in the league.
“Real Madrid is a step up but then it would take Real Madrid picking up the phone and making contact with Tottenham and say that they want Christian,” Eriksen added. “And that they haven’t done as far as I know.
“It all depends on (Spurs chairman) Daniel Levy and there has to be another club too. Or I will sit down myself at the table and negotiate a new contract.”
The news of Eriksen considering his future will come as a blow to Spurs, who were looking to use their emphatic run to the Champions League final as a springboard for next season.
The club have not made a signing since Lucas Moura arrived in January 2018, and Pochettino would hope to keep hold of his experienced players to challenge the likes of Liverpool and reigning champions Manchester City in the Premier League.
Eriksen, however, maintained he is open to extending his stay at Spurs if the clubs on the market do not represent a “step up” for his career.
“It depends on the possibilities. If there are no exciting offers why shouldn’t I stay at Tottenham? If I then sign a new contract depends on the conditions,” he added.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)