Tottenham Hotspur should give second thoughts to the idea of selling Lucas Moura in January, a pundit has warned them – while acknowledging what the “unhealthy” route for them to take would be.
Moura has been a Tottenham player since 2018, when he joined them from Paris Saint-Germain. However, he is approaching the end of his contract with the north London club. Unless they activate a 12-month option to extend his deal, he could become a free agent in the summer.
Before then, Tottenham have been tipped to take their chance to cash in while they can. Lucas has been linked with a return to his native Brazil, where Flamengo have established themselves as contenders for his signature.
There is a feeling that a deal can be done for around £10million to bring an end to Moura’s time as a Tottenham player.
Up to this point, he has made 213 appearances for the club, contributing 38 goals and 27 assists. However, none of his eight Premier League appearances this season have been starts.
Antonio Conte has given him two starts – and one substitute appearance – in the Champions League. In all competitions, though, Moura is yet to contribute to a goal in 2022-23.
Therefore, Tottenham have been thinking about cutting their losses with the 30-year-old.
However, they have now been warned that Lucas isn’t necessarily past it – but they should take into account his own wishes.
Pundit provides Lucas Moura advice for Tottenham
Noel Whelan told Football Insider: “I don’t think his age is an issue, 30 is still a good stage in a career.
“I still think he’s got a lot to offer Tottenham and the Premier League. We’ve seen Conte reach for him a few times since he’s come in. That goes to show that he is an important player.
“But if the player isn’t happy and he wants to move, there’s no point in keeping them.
“You’re not going to get the best out of them. If he doesn’t want to play for Tottenham, they shouldn’t stand in his way.
“It’s unhealthy, and that spreads through the squad. If he wants to return to Brazil, it would free up some money for Spurs.”
Currently, Conte is preferring to pick from Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski when it comes to Tottenham’s attacking options.
While still at a good age, perhaps Moura feels he deserves to be playing somewhere else more regularly. He could probably still cut it in Europe, but a return to Brazil might make sense for him emotionally.
He last played club football in his home country back in 2012 before leaving Sao Paulo. What’s more, he hasn’t played for the Brazilian national team since 2018.
Hence, Moura might be thinking about heading back home. Squad depth will be important for Tottenham, though, and someone like Lucas is certainly useful from the bench.
Therefore, Spurs will want to ensure any exit for the former PSG star is in everyone’s best interests, not just his own.