Alli in PSG talks after fresh snub
Spurs midfielder upset after Mourinho excludes him again French club ready to take England international on loan
Paris St-Germain are in talks to sign Dele Alli, with the midfielder having been left upset and confused after being omitted from the Tottenham Hotspur squad for a second game in a row.
The likelihood is that Alli – who did not travel to Southampton for yesterday’s 5-2 victory at St Mary’s – will leave Spurs on a season-long loan, although Jose Mourinho suggested he would feature in tomorrow’s EFL Cup tie away to League Two Leyton Orient.
Tottenham are expected to make a raft of changes for that match as they juggle a congested fixture list that also includes a 3,000-mile round trip to play Shkendija in North Macedonia in the Europa League on Thursday.
Tottenham last week offered Alli to Real Madrid, also on a season’s loan, as part of the negotiations to bring Gareth Bale back to Spurs and to sign left-back Sergio Reguilon for £27.5 million.
Alli is attracting interest from Inter Milan as well as PSG.
The 24-year-old’s team-mates have been surprised at his treatment by Mourinho. He was substituted at half-time during the 1-0 defeat at home to Everton. He then did not travel to Bulgaria for the Europa League tie against Lokomotiv Plovdiv last Thursday.
Alli was then snubbed for a third time when Mourinho did not include him in the 18-man squad for the match at St Mary’s.
When Mourinho was asked about the significance of the omission, he said: “The only thing I can say is that I left eight players behind, they stayed training this morning. They are a big group; Dele was amongst these. I can’t start with all of them. I cannot have a bench without defenders.
“If a squad is a puzzle, a bench is also a little puzzle. I cannot have on the bench four wingers, a No 10 and no defenders. In these last two matches, Dele stays out. Maybe on Tuesday he will be back.”
Asked whether Alli was likely to leave, Mourinho added: “I am not responsible for the market, I don’t know how to answer that question. What I want is a balanced squad. That’s what I want.
“He doesn’t need to be sacrificed, but a squad is a puzzle.”
PSG are in the market for a midfield player – as one of three asked for by coach Thomas Tuchel – and it is understood that sporting director Leonardo has been considering a move for Chelsea’s Tiemoue
Bakayoko. AC Milan, who took the France international on loan in 2018-19, are also interested in bringing him back to the San Siro. But Bakayoko is contracted to Chelsea until 2022 and the two clubs have yet to reach an agreement.
It may be that PSG secure Alli on a permanent transfer but initial talks have centred on a loan move.
It is believed that Alli is keen to move and is attracted by the possibility of joining the Champions League finalists.
PSG have been long-term admirers of Alli, whose contract at Spurs runs until 2024, and also like the idea of signing an English player. It certainly does not appear that Alli features in Mourinho’s plans and a new challenge could appeal as he seeks to win back his place in the England squad. Alli would undoubtedly be attracted by the prospect of playing alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar and competing again in the Champions League.
His latest omission came as a major surprise within the Spurs squad as he is a popular figure with team-mates. He is understood to have been left upset and confused by the decision, with players now concerned that he will be frozen out under Mourinho if he remains at the club.
Mourinho was far more positive about the signings of Bale – even though he will not be fit for another month – and Reguilon.
“A coach always likes to have the best players in his squad. Gareth, when fit and in condition, is one of the top players in Europe, and Sergio was amazing last season in Sevilla,” Mourinho added.
“So if you ask me if I’m happy to have these players I have to say yes, I am, but there are other things that make a team and make a squad.”
Mourinho also confirmed that he still hoped to sign a striker having seen Southampton rebuff his club’s initial attempt to sign Danny Ings, who scored both of the home side’s goals at St Mary’s yesterday.