Brentford are in advanced talks over finalising terms on a six-month contract with Christian Eriksen, but the deal will not break the club’s wage structure.
All parties are in agreement on a deal, but it is not expected to be officially completed in the next 48 hours.
The Bees are now in the process of doing due diligence on the 29-year-old midfielder’s fitness to play. He will also need to obtain a work permit.
The medical process Eriksen will have to go through will be more complicated than for a typical new signing, given he suffered a cardiac arrest just seven months ago while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020, and has an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) fitted to his heart.
Eriksen would need to be signed off by a club-assigned sports cardiologist before being registered to play in the Premier League.
The Football Association would not conduct its own cardiology report but it would review the signing club’s cardiological assessment before giving the go-ahead.
The FA would expect the club-appointed cardiologist to be a member of their Cardiac Consensus Panel, which is chaired by Dr Sanjay Sharma – Eriksen’s former doctor at Tottenham.
Brentford are in no rush to sign him before the January 31 transfer deadline given he is currently a free agent.
His contract with Inter Milan was terminated due to it being illegal to play professional sport in Italy with an ICD fitted to the heart.
Eriksen has said his heart is “not an obstacle” to get back playing – and in England, athletes are given the autonomy to decide themselves whether or not to continue on the balance of risk.
It is not illegal in the UK for Eriksen to play with an ICD, but if he does, he will be the first ever in the Premier League.
Eriksen has been training just over the border in southern Switzerland as he looks for another club, but stepped up his preparations for a return this past week by training with Ajax.
Paul Gilmour: Eriksen deal won’t break club’s wage structure
Sky Sports’ Paul Gilmour:
“Brentford are now in advanced talks over this deal to sign Christian Eriksen. It’s close but it’s not imminent. He’s not in the country, but nevertheless, all parties are pretty much in agreement.
“It’s a deal that is expected to go through provided everything goes well with the medical. It would cap a remarkable return to football after we saw at Euro 2020 he suffered a cardiac arrest during the match against Finland.
“This is not your average medical as you can imagine. The player is keen to play at the 2022 World Cup, but we’re not expecting this deal to be completed in the next 48 hours.
“Brentford won’t be breaking the wage structure, but it would still be a healthy Premier League salary. Personal terms aren’t expected to be a problem, and provided all goes well with the medical, it would be an exciting signing.
“He’s been training alone in Switzerland and now he feels ready to play football again and make an impact.”
World-class creative talent
Eriksen was the undisputed king of assists during his six-and-a-half-year spell with Tottenham – ranking top for creating goals and carving chances in the Premier League during that time.
In addition, the Dane led for producing the spectacular with a league-topping 23 goals struck from outside the box, of which eight of those came from direct free-kicks.
The graphic below reveals the illustrious elite in his company, including the likes of Mesut Ozil, David Silva, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne – of which only the latter would notably exceed Eriksen for creative returns per 90.
In terms of positioning, Eriksen frequently topped the running metrics during his time at Tottenham and primarily operated centrally, midway inside the opposition half – creating chances from every angle.
His creative output declined at Inter Milan, failing to secure a regular starting berth before his horrific collapse at Euro 2020 last year – but Eriksen is an undisputed world-class talent and a stellar acquisition for Thomas Frank’s side.
Brentford on the hunt for more signings
Irrespective of the outcome of the Eriksen deal, Brentford want to sign more players this month and are targeting a forward and, potentially, a wing-back.
Brentford have money to spend, as Eriksen would arrive as a free agent.
However, they are finding negotiations difficult because £20m seems to be the going rate for players in these positions, which is too much for them.
This has led to discussions for Bologna’s Scottish defender Aaron Hickey reaching an impasse, due to the club’s demands for the 19-year-old, who is also on the list of other Premier League clubs.
The Bees remain interested in Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mhkaylo Mudryk and Hull’s Keane Lewis Potter among others.
They have also been keen on Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson since the summer, but the Championship club also want at least £20m for arguably their best player.
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