Hugo Lloris to leave Tottenham in search of Champions League football
French goalkeeper is an option for Manchester United and PSG
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris looks set to demand a transfer this summer. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Hugo Lloris will consider his future at the end of the season if and more likely when Tottenham Hotspur do not qualify for the Champions League. The France goalkeeper signed a five-year contract last July but he has long made it plain to the club’s chairman, Daniel Levy, that he wants to play in the Champions League.
Tottenham even took Michel Vorm from Swansea City two weeks after Lloris had re-signed in a move that was seen as a shrewd contingency on Levy’s part in the event of Lloris pushing to join a Champions League club. Vorm, 31, was Holland’s third-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup in Brazil and cost £4.5m.
Lloris is frustrated and finds his career approaching a crossroads. He joined from Lyon in 2012 for an initial £8m and he hoped to play with Spurs in the Champions League. It has not happened and Lloris knows there is the strong possibility that it will not do so next season either. Tottenham trail fourth-placed Manchester City by seven points and have a hugely inferior goal difference, with five matches to play.
It is not lost on Lloris that virtually all of his France team-mates play at Champions League clubs and he is the captain of his country. Lloris played Champions League football in each of his four seasons at Lyon.
It is one thing to desire an elite club and another to get a transfer to one. The length of Lloris’s contract might not be an obstacle because Tottenham have found long-term deals have not always guaranteed they keep their players. Luka Modric agreed a six-year extension in 2010 and was a Real Madrid player after two and Gareth Bale signed for four extra years in 2012 and moved to Real the following summer.
Levy, though, is a notoriously difficult seller, routinely demanding high prices while Lloris knows the summer market for top goalkeepers is set to be complicated.
Paris Saint-Germain have shown an interest as they consider an upgrade on Salvatore Sirigu but, with the pressures of financial fair play regulations, it is unclear whether they would pay a hefty fee for a goalkeeper. PSG are also keen on Petr Cech, who is available from Chelsea and would be significantly cheaper than Lloris. Cech has a host of other suitors, including Arsenal.
Lloris’s preference would be to stay in the Premier League and the future of David de Gea at Manchester United could have an impact. De Gea is a target for Real Madrid; he has a year to run on his contract and has so far resisted United’s efforts to tie him to a new deal. If De Gea leaves, Lloris could be a contender to fill the vacancy.
Lloris will assess everything in the summer before an important season that concludes with the European Championship in France. He is not the impulsive type; he was expected to leave Lyon in the summer of 2011 only to stay for one more year while, at 28, he knows that time remains on his side. He also likes the Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Lloris has not played since March 21st, when he was forced off in the 4-3 home win over Leicester City after a collision with his team-mate Kyle Walker in which he suffered a deep cut to his knee. Pochettino hopes to have him back for Saturday’s visit to Southampton.