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Tottenham’s Lucas Moura willing to “leave for free” amidst contract speculation

With his Spurs contract winding down, Lucas is keeping his options open.

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Brazil is in the World Cup, but Lucas Moura isn’t. That means that he’s got a little bit of discretionary time on his hands, and the Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder is using that time to give an interview. Lucas sat down with Brazilian YouTube podcast Flow Sport Club where he talked about his path from his early days in Sao Paolo to his time at PSG, Spurs, and beyond. He also talks a little bit about what might come in the future with his Spurs contract winding down.

I’ll embed the video here, but it’s a two hour interview entirely in Portuguese so unless you know the language it’s unlikely you’ll glean a whole lot from it. But that’s where SportsWitness comes in — they have kindly transcribed and translated the parts where Lucas talks about his future as a benefit to Tottenham supporters, which I’ll place below. Lucas is pretty frank about what his expectations are for the rest of his career

“Man, my plan, to be honest, I want to play football and I want to be in a club that allows me to play at a high level, play in a good league, play at a good level. That’s my plan. I still have a lot of firewood to burn, I’m 30 years old, so I’m very young.

“So my thought is to finish this season with Tottenham, try to win a title this season and, free of contract, sit down with my family and listen to the offers that will appear. That’s when you analyze everything: country, club, financial side. It’s analyzing everything. And then make the best decision. That’s my thought. But now I’m very calm there.”

Lucas’ current Tottenham contract extends through the end of the 2023-24 season. He’s reportedly on a salary of around £80k/wk which isn’t necessarily egregiously expensive but might prove to be a hinderance if Tottenham want to try to offload him and actually earn some transfer funds this coming summer.

But will anyone be interested? Tottenham reportedly have had Lucas on a “yeah sure he can go, whatever” list for a couple of seasons now but there hasn’t been a ton of concrete, or even abstract, interest in bringing him on. And while age 30 is “pretty young” in an abstract lifetime sense, he’s definitely no spring chicken in terms of a football career. He might have a decade or more of football left in him if he is determined to play and doesn’t mind dropping down a few divisions or moving to an easier league, but it’s safe to say that his years at the very top level of club competition are limited.

Lucas, for what it’s worth, seems to recognize that his Tottenham tenure might be close to running its course.

“If Tottenham want to renew, [that’s] cool too, [it’s] a club I like a lot, I’m adapted. Let’s see, let’s hear the renewal proposal. If they don’t want to, I’ll leave for free, and being free, of course, more proposals appear. So it’s a matter of analyzing and seeing what we decide.

“And there’s the possibility of returning to Brazil. It’s difficult, I’ve always said that I want to go back to the São Paulo, which is the club I love. I never stipulated any deadline, and I said that I wanted to stay at least 10 years in Europe, since when I left Sao Paulo my thought was to stay at least 10 years in Europe, whatever happens.

“Playing in Europe, high level, Champions League. After that time, let’s see what will happen. Let’s see what comes up, let’s see my situation, my moment, the offers that will appear, and let’s decide.”

Say what you will about Lucas, but these are pretty clear-eyed statements about his future. He does seem pretty happy at Spurs, but he also seems aware that he’s not getting the minutes he’d like and would also be content to go elsewhere as his career enters a new phase. Read between the lines, and it seems like he also knows he’s expendable, and that while the club attempts to improve, he’s most likely going to end up even more on the outside looking in.

For Spurs, he’s an easy upgrade target. In fact, they already have a Lucas-like substance on the roster in Bryan Gil. While Gil has the motor, he doesn’t have the experience, which is probably why Antonio Conte has Lucas higher on the depth chart at this point in time.

I don’t think we should expect to see any rumors about Lucas moving in January. It doesn’t feel like the right time unless some club really has him high on their transfer radars. But I can absolutely see Spurs trying to move him on next summer. And it sounds as though Lucas would be open to that possibility as well.