Exclusive - Monaco have registered their transfer interest in Tottenham's Dele Alli, although the midfielder's future remains likely to be with Spurs as it stands.
Alli has endured a tough start to the 2020/21 season, having been substituted at half time in a poor Spurs performance against Everton on the opening weekend of the season and left out of the squad completely for the follow-up victory over Southampton.
Jose Mourinho’s concern over Alli’s work ethic was highlighted in episode one of the club’s All or Nothing series on Amazon Prime, with the manager telling his player in front of his teammates that he is a ‘lazy’ trainer. But later in the same episode, Mourinho also expressed his admiration of Alli’s talent and revealed Sir Alex Ferguson had once told him to buy him for Manchester United.
Rumours of an exit have grown and while Spurs have been keen to block a permanent transfer, a loan hasn’t been ruled out. French champions Paris Saint-Germain showed interest and then quickly backed away again. Mourinho has also said publicly he is ‘convinced’ he will stay.
But 90min has learned from sources that Monaco will at least present an alternative option for Alli. Interest from the principality club has been registered by sporting director Paul Mitchell, who has existing close ties to the 24-year-old.
Mitchell was formerly an MK Dons player when Alli joined the club’s youth ranks and later served as an ambassador and subsequently head of recruitment. In a later career move he joined Spurs as chief recruiter in November 2014 and secured a deal for Alli within a matter of months.
With Spurs not keen to sell and still seeing Alli as a valuable asset, regardless of his uncertain current role in the team, only a loan deal would be financially viable. Monaco, 90min has also learned, could be a potential landing spot for England forward Callum Hudson-Odoi, who finds himself in a similar position to Alli at London rivals Chelsea.
Monaco have long had a reputation for outstanding player development and once again have a promising crop of youngsters that could soon be further boosted by the expected arrival of 21-year-old Portuguese talent Florentino Luis from Benfica.
However, a move to Monaco right now could also be seen as a step backwards for Alli. Following the break up of the 2016/17 title winning side, the club has improved since almost being relegated in 2018/19, but were still only ninth when the 2019/20 French campaign was abandoned amid the coronavirus pandemic. They will therefore not be playing in Europe this season.