Lucas Moura could be sold in January to avert a free agent exit despite Tottenham rejecting two attempts to sign him from Premier League sides last month, per reports.
Fabrizio Romano reported Newcastle and Aston Villa were prepared to move for Lucas Moura as deadline day loomed. However, when Tottenham failed to get an adequate replacement through the door, exits for Lucas and Bryan Gil were both blocked.
The Brazilian, now 30, arrived in north London upon completing a £25m move from PSG in 2018.
The lively forward has enjoyed the occasional high at Spurs, most notably his hat-trick against Ajax that sent Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019.
However, the recent arrivals of Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison have diminished his role in the team.
Antonio Conte’s regular front three this season has been Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Kulusevski.
Richarlison is pushing hard for starts after impressing every time he’s been called upon from the bench. What’s more, the Brazilian bagged a brace on his Champions League debut to secure all three points against a stubborn Marseille.
Lucas is therefore down to fifth-choice in the attacking ranks and his contract situation suggests an exit isn’t farfetched.
Confusion has surrounded the exact nature of his current deal. Some outlets have reported he has one year left, while others claim it’s two.
However, the according to the player himself, his deal expires in the summer of 2023, with the club holding an option for an extra year.
Lucas Moura eyeing Champions League swansong
Regardless, Lucas’ comments earlier in the summer suggested he has one eye on a Spurs exit after this season.
“The idea is to fulfil the contract,” said Moura. “It has one more year, with the option of one more, on the part of the club.
“So at the end of this season now, if the club wants to extend another year, they have that option.
“But my idea is this. Finalising the contract, playing in the Champions League, we haven’t played the Champions League for two years, and now it could be, perhaps, my last Champions League there at Tottenham.
“So then the idea is to stay there, fulfil the contract, then be free, then decide where I’m going.”
Now, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, the possibility of Lucas leaving as early as January is very real.
January last chance saloon
If the player and club find common ground on not activating the option, the winter window will represent Spurs’ last chance to recoup a fee.
They continue to draw links with the likes of Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo. It may well end up being a case of one in, one out come January.
“Yes, there’s a real chance that he could possibly leave,” O’Rourke told GiveMeSport.
“Lucas Moura has been a good player for Tottenham in fits and bursts. But he has maybe not been as consistent as he possibly could be for some Tottenham fans.
“There was interest in him later on in the transfer window. Aston Villa and Newcastle were keen on him, but Tottenham blocked those loan moves.”