Jose Mourinho has refused to be drawn on the future of wantaway midfielder Dele Alli, despite admitting that the Tottenham midfielder is ‘unhappy’.
The England international has endured a frustrating season thus far under the former Manchester United boss, with much of his game time restricted to cup competitions as he continues to be ignored for Premier League action.
The 24-year-old has featured just four times in the league thus far and has been rumoured with an exit from the club in recent months, including a potential reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain.
The former MK Dons man did impress in the FA Cup last weekend, albeit against eighth-tier side Marine, yet was once again an unused substitute in Spurs‘ 1-1 draw with Wolves in midweek.
Such a scenario appeared unlikely a few seasons ago for the midfielder, as he emerged as a key player for both club and country, though his performances and game time have taken a real nosedive since the 2018 World Cup.
As his future continues to look uncertain, Mourinho was asked directly whether Alli was unhappy at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, although the 57-year-old did not indicate which type of unhappy the player is at present.
“In every dressing room [there] are unhappy players,” Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference. “For sure. If any one of us, of my tribe, tells you that in his dressing room are only happy players, I don’t think it’s true. Or somebody is so so lucky to have a miracle in his hands.
“Then you can have [an] unhappy professional and the unhappy professional is the one that is unhappy but feels that his duty is to work, work, work and work. And there is the unhappy that believes that it’s not his job to fight and to work every minute for the squad and for the club.”
Despite his current lack of minutes and interest from elsewhere, there have been reports that the club are reluctant to let Alli leave this month, and Mourinho seemed to suggest he can only depart if a player replaces him in his squad.
“The question is if I let Dele go without getting a player in exchange and I’m not going to answer that,” Mourinho said. “It’s not a question that I am comfortable to answer. Of course, I would know how to answer. But I am not ready to answer. I am not ready to make public my vision of the situation.”