Dele Alli has not travelled with the rest of the Tottenham squad to Bulgaria for the club’s Europa League tie against Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
Jose Mourinho's side have been forced to go through qualifying rounds to reach the group stages of the competition off the back of Arsenal's FA Cup victory in August. Their first clash is away at the Lokomotiv Stadium Plovdiv in the second qualifying round.
It was mentioned by the Spurs manager that he would leave eight first team players behind in north London for the tie, one of whom has been confirmed to be Alli by the Telegraph.
“I leave eight at home because in this moment our squad is big,” the Portuguese boss said. “So to take 18, I have to leave eight players at home with one of my assistants to work.”
Alli's omission conveniently comes at a time when his future at the Lilywhites has been thrown into doubt.
Spurs are working hard to conclude a deal that would see Gareth Bale return to the club from Real Madrid, in a deal that could either materialise as a loan deal or permanent switch. A deal for left-back Sergio Reguilon is also near completion.
It's been mentioned that Alli's name was included in discussions with Los Blancos to secure either player, although his name is now being linked across Europe given his potential availability. One such club is Inter, who signed Christian Eriksen from the club in the most recent winter window. Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have also had their names mentioned.
Whether any deal would be a loan or a permanent move would depend on finances. However, Mourinho's decision to haul Alli off at half time of their 1-0 loss to Everton sparked discussion that the 57-year-old has grown impatient with the forward. Mourinho insited post-match that he made the substitution 'for the team'.