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Why Christian Eriksen was released by Inter & which teams he could play for next

7:15 PM GMT+8 17/01/2022
Christian Eriksen Denmark 2021
GOAL takes a look at why Inter released the playmaker and potential clubs he could join

A near-death experience at Euro 2020 ensured that Christian Eriksen became one of the most searched-for athletes in the world in 2021 and, while he has made a recovery from that frightening incident, the Denmark international finds himself at a crossroads heading into 2022.

Released by Serie A giants Inter, the highly regarded playmaker is now on the hunt for a new place to play his football, but the field of options has narrowed somewhat following his cardiac emergency.

GOAL takes a look at which clubs Eriksen could play for next and why he was dropped by the Nerazzurri.

Why was Christian Eriksen released by Inter?

Inter and Eriksen mutually agreed to part ways in December 2021 in order to allow the Danish midfielder the opportunity to continue his career elsewhere, outside of Serie A.

Eriksen was fitted with an ICD (implantable cardio defibrillator) following his on-field cardiac arrest at the European Championship, but rules in Italy forbid professional footballers from competing in competitive games with such equipment.

Inter confirmed in October 2021 that they would seek to sell the midfielder so that he could attempt to continue playing football professionally and, in December, revealed that they had agreed to release him from his contract.

“Inter can confirm an agreement has been reached to terminate Christian Eriksen's contract by mutual consent. The club and the entire Nerazzurri family wish Christian all the very best for his future," a statement published on the official Inter website read.

"Although Inter and Christian are now parting ways, the bond shall never be broken. The good times, the goals, the victories, those Scudetto celebrations with fans outside San Siro – all this will remain forever in Nerazzurri history."

Which teams could Christian Eriksen play for next?

We know that Eriksen is not permitted to play in Italy, so it will be impossible for him to join another Serie A club, but there are still options out there in Europe's top leagues for the Dane.

His agent, Martin Schoots, has also ruled out the possibility of a move to destinations such as Major League Soccer (MLS), Australia's A-League or the Chinese Super League, citing "family reasons".

"It's too early to say where Christian's future lies," Schoots told Sky Sports in mid-December. "Because of special regulations in Italy, which have already existed for decades, the only thing we know for sure is that it will not be in Italy. And it will not be in another continent either, because of family reasons.

"A few clubs have already contacted us some weeks ago. We have to see what the future brings. But it seems bright and that is the most important thing."

Ajax have been touted as a potential destination and such a move would see Eriksen return to the club where he forged a reputation as one of the brightest talents in Europe. The Dutch giants also have experience handling the health of a player with heart issues, namely Daley Blind.

It is possible for Eriksen to return to England, but he will have to prove his fitness to compete safely at that level. The Athletic have reported that Brentford are in the running to sign the midfielder on a six-month deal. Newcastle United, West Ham and Leicester City are also among the clubs to have been suggested as potential destinations by the Daily Mirror. A return to Tottenham is also a possibility and it would see him reunite with Antonio Conte, the manager who brought him to Inter.

While it would seem unlikely, particularly if there is interest from Premier League clubs and Ajax, Eriksen could arguably return to his native Denmark to close out his career. Indeed, his former club OB opened their doors to the midfielder in order to facilitate his training regime.

Could Christian Eriksen retire?

While the indications suggest that Eriksen is keen to continue his playing career, there is a possibility that he could be forced to retire, should medical advice warn him it is in his best interests to do so.

The aforementioned Daley Blind is a positive example of a footballer being able to carry on competing at a high level while fitted with an ICD, but heart issues have ushered a number of high profile players into early retirement.

The most notable recent example of this is Sergio Aguero, whose Barcelona career was cut short after it was discovered that he was suffering from a heart condition. Similarly, legendary Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas hung up his gloves in 2020 after suffering a heart attack in 2019.

However, for now it seems that retirement is some way away from Eriksen's thinking.