Ryan Mason has admitted that he does not know whether Dejan Kulusevski will still be at Tottenham Hotspur next season.

Mason was asked the question about the Swede’s future at yesterday’s pre-match press conference with Spurs taking on Aston Villa in the Midlands this afternoon in what could prove to be decisive of whether the north Londoners will be playing European football next season.

Kulusevski joined Spurs in January following an 18-month loan deal with Juventus in January of last year and made an immediate impact along with Rodrigo Bentancur after the pair played a pivotal part in Antonio Conte’s side finishing fourth in the Premier League table.

An obligation for Spurs to make the transfer permanent for 35million euros (£30m) at the end of this campaign was inserted should Tottenham qualify for the Champions League this season, however with a top four finish beyond the club, an option to sign the winger for 35million euros remains in place.

The 23-year-old impressed last season following his arrival from Juventus, scoring five goals in 18 Premier League games (transfermarkt), however, he has failed to hit the same heights during the current campaign which has been impacted by injury.

While Mason did admit that he considers the Swedish international to be a Tottenham player, he stopped short on confirming that he will definitely be in N17 for the 2023/2024 season.

The interim Spurs head coach told Football.London: “I’m not sure about that to be perfectly honest. The general feeling is that Deki is a Tottenham player so those conversations, like many other conversations about other players, will come at the end of the season.”

Dejan Kulusevski

(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Mason was also asked how Kulusevski can get back to his best: “I love Deki as a player. I think he’s got so much room to grow and be a top, top player, even though he already is a top, top player.

“At the same time when you play for a club like this I feel it’s important that you feel you have to earn the shirt in every moment. Naturally when you play for a club like this there’s competition. At the moment, last week, you could see he was on the bench but he came on and helped the team get the result. That’s important because you need a full squad. The intensity of the Premier League and the demands are so much that it’s bigger than just the 11 players who start the game on the pitch.

“You need people to come on and contribute. We saw that with Eric Dier as well the other day when Clem [Lenglet] went off injured. He had to be ready for five minutes and he played an important role. So that’s the message to all of our players.

“We value all of them, they’ve got an important role to play, albeit for three games at the end of the season, but I think it’s an important message going forward.”

SpursWeb Opinion

It sounds as if Mason is just toeing the line and not commenting on transfer business since he simply does not know what his own future entails at this stage.  Despite an indifferent season, Spurs would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to sign Dejan Kulusevski for such a modest fee in today’s transfer market.

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