Former Tottenham star Mousa Dembele to hang up his boots at end of contract after retirement confusion

The 34-year-old has one year left on his contract with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande and reports in Belgium claimed on Tuesday that he was at home in Antwerp, having decided to hang up his boots.

The official Tottenham Twitter account responded by congratulating Dembele on his “incredible career” and urging him to “enjoy his retirement”.

But, although Dembele is believed to be in talks over terminating his contract early, he took to social media to insist he hasn’t retired yet.

“Thank you for all the nice messages I received,” he wrote on Instagram. “To clarify, I haven’t stopped yet. I still have one year left on my contract. But I can already share that I will stop my career once this year is over.”

Dembele switched to English football with Fulham in 2010, making 62 league appearances in two seasons with the Cottagers, but it was at Spurs that he enjoyed his best spell.

Once described by former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino as one of the ‘five geniuses’ he had worked with, Dembele was the beating heart of the Argentina side from 2014 until his move to China in January 2019.

He played a pivotal role in Spurs’ rise under Pochettino, forming superb midfield pairs with Eric Dier and then Victor Wanyama and helping them win back-to-back title and FA Cup semi-final challenges, and the 2014 League Cup final.

He has made over 200 appearances for the north London club in all competitions, having originally signed for £15million in August 2012 when Andre Villas-Boas was manager.

standard Sport

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