Mousa Dembele is unhappy at Tottenham Hotspur after being a denied a move to the Chinese Super League, sources close to the midfielder have exclusively told Football FanCast.
Over the last few seasons, Dembele has emerged as one of the most dominant central midfielders in the Premier League but it appears his time in English football, or at least with Spurs, is coming to an end.
The Belgium international has entered the last year of his contract and it was revealed in May that he would not consider penning fresh terms until after the 2018 World Cup. However, nearly three weeks have passed since Belgium’s final match at the tournament in Russia, their third-place playoff win over England, and there have been no developments regarding a new contract.
Meanwhile, Football FanCast exclusively revealed in June that Dembele was in talks with Beijing Guoan over a move to the Chinese Super League. The 31-year-old had wanted the move for over a year and effectively agreed personal terms, waiting only for Daniel Levy to agree a transfer fee with the Beijing outfit.
But that same source has now informed Football FanCast that the move is off, seemingly due to Levy refusing to sanction a deal that Dembele has yearned for over the last year, and the situation has left the 80-cap international unhappy at the north London club.
Football FanCast can only speculate; the details of the deal or exactly why it’s broken down haven’t been made clear to us. But in the context of Tottenham’s summer, and what we know about Levy, there are two obvious and plausible explanations.
First and foremost, Tottenham are yet to make a signing this summer, and if they were to sell Dembele now they would have less than a week of the transfer window left to sign a replacement for one of Mauricio Pochettino’s most important players.
Perhaps Spurs have reached a point where it would be more valuable for them to keep Dembele for another season, accepting he’ll leave for free when his contract expires next summer, than losing him now for a relatively insignificant transfer fee.
Alternatively, Levy may believe he can still sell Dembele to a club from Europe, potentially for more money. It has never been in Levy’s interest to sell to Premier League rivals, although Kyle Walker’s move to Manchester City last summer showed that he is willing to negotiate with clubs in the English top flight if the right kind of money is on offer.
But a move to a club on the continent is most likely, and although the Premier League deadline for signings is at 5pm on August 9th, English clubs will still be able to sell to European teams until the end of August – leaving Levy with the best part of a month to find a buyer. Inter Milan were linked back in June, and the failed move to the CSL could inspire them to revive their interest in Dembele.