Exclusive - Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is looking to leave the club when the January transfer window opens next month as he attempts to force his way back into the England squad ahead of the delayed European Championship next summer.
Dele has fallen completely out of favour under Spurs boss Jose Mourinho this season, failing to even make the bench for a Premier League game since early October, while he was an unused substitute in the Europa League dead rubber against Royal Antwerp on Thursday.
Mourinho said after the game he is aware that Dele is unhappy and wouldn’t expect anything different from someone who isn’t getting the chance to play.
90min has learned that the 24-year-old doesn’t see a way back into the fold anytime soon and his desire to leave is motivated by concerns over missing out on a major tournament with England.
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Dele Alli showed Jose Mourinho what exactly he can bring to Tottenham Hotspur in their Europa League victory over Wolfsberger.
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Dele was once a regular at international level but hasn’t been called up by Gareth Southgate since June 2019. The emergence of players such as Jack Grealish and Mason Mount in attacking midfield has only made it more unlikely that he will get a recall unless his club situation changes.
Chairman Daniel Levy has reservations about letting Dele - who is still young enough to keep developing - leave on a permanent basis. He loves the player, yet doesn’t wish to be seen going against Mourinho, who has guided Spurs to the top of the Premier League without Dele.
With the player still under contract until 2024, Levy is more comfortable sanctioning a loan deal, perhaps even a lengthier 18-month deal that would run until the end of the 2021/22 season.
A number of Premier League clubs are interested, with Dele having averaged a goal from midfield every three games as recently as last season. However, Spurs are understandably keen to not strengthen a rival at the top of the table.
A move to continental Europe, where there is also plenty of interest, is therefore more likely.
90min revealed back in September that Monaco had registered interest in Dele. The presence of Paul Mitchell as sporting director at Stade Louis II is an important factor, having first worked with him at MK Dons and later taken him to Spurs soon after being appointed head of recruitment.
The side from the principality are still interested now, but they are not alone in Ligue 1, where reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain continue to keep an eye on things as well.
RB Leipzig were another club looking at Dele, but they are now unlikely to follow up their earlier interest as a result of already all but wrapping up a €25m January deal for Red Bull Salzburg attacker Dominik Szoboszlai instead, beating Arsenal to the 20-year-old Hungarian.
There has never been an issue over Dele’s ability on the pitch, but Mourinho’s concern over his work ethic was highlighted in episode one of the club’s All or Nothing series on Amazon Prime, with the manager telling the player that he is a ‘lazy’ trainer in front of his teammates.
Later in the same episode, the Spurs boss expressed his admiration of Dele’s talent and revealed Sir Alex Ferguson had once told him to buy the player for former club Manchester United.