Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has revealed how he tried to convince Spurs' star Dele Alli to move to Villa Park - well kind of.
According to the Mirror, Bruce jokingly admitted he had a quiet word with the England international on Sunday, following his side's 2-0 defeat to Tottenham in the FA Cup.
Steve Bruce: "I asked Dele Alli if he'd come and play for us. I think £80m would be too much for us though." pic.twitter.com/mXc6fUqeUF— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) January 9, 2017
"I asked Dele Alli if he would come and play for us," said a chuckling Bruce in his post match interview.
"He said 'someday Steve I'd love to' but I think £80m might be too much for us." Bruce laughed.
Alli played a part in Spurs' opening goal - a 70th minute header from defender Ben Davies - and Bruce thought he played a pivotal role in Tottenham grabbing the win.
"He certainly changed it for them. He has that quality that really top players have. I wished he had sat on his arse, we might have been better off, " Bruce again joked.
Mauricio Pochettino used the cup tie as an opportunity to rest a number of players, including Alli, but the midfielder was introduced late on to inject a bit of life into a Tottenham team who were still level with 20 minutes remaining.
Alli has been in superb form for Tottenham over recent weeks, scoring a brace in each of his last three Premier League games, including against Chelsea where an Alli-inspired Tottenham ended the Blues' 13 game winning streak
The midfielder's fine from has helped move Tottenham up to 3rd in the table, but still trail leaders Chelsea by seven points.
Up next for Tottenham is a Saturday afternoon tie against West Brom. Alli scored an 89th minute equaliser when the two sides met at the Hawthorns in October.
As for Steve Bruce, he will have to turn his mind to other transfer targets if he fails to land Alli. Villa have been heavily linked with Nottingham Forest's Henri Lansbury, with Bruce confirming he has inquired about the midfielder.