We haven’t seen Mousa Dembele since he was subbed off in the 7th minute at Wolves with an injury back in early November, but if reports in Belgium are correct he’s more than willing to stay at Tottenham Hotspur past this season... for a price.
According to Belgian outlet DH (paywalled, via Sport Witness), the 31 year old midfielder would like to stay at Spurs for longer than his current contract, which expires this summer. However, Dembele is insisting on a pay increase past the £80k/week he’s already on, and that’s proving to be a difficult sell to the Spurs brass, who are concerned about his propensity for injuries. DH calls the contract talks as “at a standstill.”
The implication is that Dembele is likely to leave the club this summer on a Bosman unless there’s a breakthrough in talks.
This would be sad, but makes a lot of sense if accurate. While we haven’t seen a lot of Moose this season, in his limited minutes he looks like he’s taken a pretty significant step back from past seasons. Mauricio Pochettino had also admitted last season that Moose was playing with a chronic ankle injury and would pretty much always be managing pain at this stage in his career.
That makes a pay increase and a new contract for a 31-year old midfielder with a history of injuries a pretty hard sell. Unfortunately for Moose, he may have missed his chance for a bigger payday unless he goes to China. He was linked with moves to Italy this summer but reportedly turned down a possible move to Inter Milan to stay at Spurs. The way this season has gone, I can’t think of a non-Chinese club that’d be willing to bring him into the side on the kind of wages he wants.
I’ve made my peace already with the idea that Moose is likely going to be leaving this summer. Spurs already can’t count on him for significant minutes going forward, though it would be nice to have him around longer just because I like him a lot. I wouldn’t be opposed to a new short term deal for Moose, but it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to throw money at him. We’ll see where this goes, but I’m not optimistic.