England star Dele Alli is being touted as a potential makeweight as Tottenham attempt to bring former legend Gareth Bale back from Real Madrid.
Spurs are in talks with Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett over a bombshell reunion, who said on Tuesday a deal was ‘close’.
“It’s close but not done,” Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told AFP. “It’s a complicated deal.”
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“Gareth still loves Spurs,” Barnett said a day earlier. “We are talking. It’s where he wants to go.”
And reports out of England and Spain suggest that Madrid are so eager to offload the exiled Welshman they are even willing to pay half his £500k-a-week wages if he leaves.
But The Daily Mail has now suggested that Spurs midfielder Alli could be sent the other way, with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho having repeatedly and brutally criticised his player.
Mourinho claimed Alli ‘doesn’t train well’ and is ‘lazy’ in an episode of new docuseries ‘All of Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’.
In a tactics session in front of the whole squad, Mourinho blasted Alli, saying: “Training, I understood already, where’s Alli? I understood already that you are a f***ing lazy guy in training. I don’t need more days [to see this]. Lazy.”
‘We are talking. It’s where he wants to go’: Exiled Bale closing in on shock Premier League reunion
Former England striker Gabriel Abonlaghor told talkSPORT Mourinho could ‘kill’ Alli’s career – and substituting the England midfielder at halftime of their opening match was a bad sign.
Abonlaghor said: “We’ve seen it so many time with Jose Mourinho, he can kill players. He has done it at every club he’s been at. At Man United, he tried to do it with Pogba and Shaw.
“I feel that Dele Alli could be his new target … I feel with Dele Alli, something has happened there between them.
“There is something going on there and for Alli to get out with a swap deal to Real Madrid is a no-brainer. He’d do better at Real Madrid than he would at Spurs.’
Bale left Tottenham for Real in 2013 for a then world record fee of £85 million ($109 million).
The 31-year-old has won four Champions League titles and two La Liga crowns during his time in Spain, but his turbulent relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane has left him exiled for most of the last year.
He started just one match when last season resumed after the coronavirus hiatus as Real clinched their first La Liga title since 2017.
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon told Sky Sports an Alli swap deal would come as a surprise.
Calderon said: “It’s the time to end this situation (with Bale at Madrid) and for me it’s the best moment to do that.
“I suppose it will be (a permanent deal). He has two years left on his contract so if he leaves this season, I feel he would stay at the new club for the rest of his career. He has three or four more years at a good level, so if he goes to Tottenham maybe he will finish his career there.
“I don’t know if Dele Alli will be part of the deal, but I don’t think Tottenham would want to let him go as he’s a very good player. Any big team would want to have him in their side.”