There have been numerous rumors about Tottenham Hotspur wanting to extend the contracts of various players in the next few months as they try and keep the core of this team together for future seasons. However, the status of Mousa Dembele could be more complicated than we were previously given to believe.
Dembele’s existing contract expires at the end of next season, which would make him a prime candidate for a renewal, but he’s already said that he won’t enter into negotiations for a new deal at Spurs until after the conclusion of the World Cup. Now, Matt Law at the Telegraph is saying that Dembele wants a three year extension with wages at around £100k/week, but that Spurs are hesitant to commit to that length of contract.
Whoof. This is a tough one.
On the one hand, it’s become patently obvious to most Spurs fans how critical Dembele is to how this Tottenham team runs. Moose is a unique snowflake, possessing a unique combination of strengths and skills that is almost impossible to completely replace.
Law suggests that he’s making £80k/week on his existing contract, and with Spurs likely to relax their wage guidelines going forward, paying £100k/wk for the guy that Mauricio Pochettino has labeled “a genius,” saying “without Mousa Dembele, we do not exist” seems reasonable. If there’s ever a guy on the side whom Spurs should be willing to shell out big money for, it’s Moose. This is the kind of situation where normally we’d see Spurs offer a 1-2 year contract extension.
But there’s a flip side to this coin, and it’s Moose’s age. Should Spurs offer Dembele a three year extension to his current deal, he’ll be 35 when it expires. While there are certain midfielders who are effective players well into their thirties, Moose is already showing a certain propensity towards injury. We’re all kind of holding our breaths, wondering when that inevitable decline starts to kick in as well. I love Moose, but we’ve been saying for a couple of years now that it’s time to identify and sign his replacement(s). Maybe those people are Victor Wanyama and a healthy Harry Winks, but maybe they aren’t.
I have no issue paying Moose £100k for an extra season or two, as he’s more than proven that he’s worth that kind of outlay. It gets sticky when we’re stuck paying that kind of money for a 34-35 year old potentially broken or crocked Dembele. That’s the issue that the club also faces, if Moose’s demands are true.
Law suggests that Dembele would attract interest from teams on the continent — he mentions Italy specifically — and makes it clear that Moose loves playing for Spurs and that he’s not specifically agitating to leave. This makes it seem like there’s a good chance that a deal can be worked out between the end of the World Cup and the start of the new Premier League season.
However, file this one away for future reference, because it looks like it won’t be resolved for a while.