How Tottenham could line-up with Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard… but where does Dele Alli fit in?
TOTTENHAM are lining-up a shock £30million bid for Jesse Lingard in a move which could spell the end for Dele Alli.
Jose Mourinho recently admitted he has too many players and refused to rule out the possibility of selling the former MK Dons star.
Alli, 24, was left "upset and confused" after being ditched for Sunday's 5-2 thumping of Southampton having already been axed from the squad for the Europa League clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv three days earlier.
And the impending signing of Lingard, 27, won't do much to help Dele's mood.
The 2018 World Cup stars looks to have been frozen out at Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January only further bumped Lingard down the pecking order.
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Now Mourinho – who worked with Lingard at Old Trafford – could rescue him.
But where would Lingard fit into the Spurs line-up? And what does this mean for Alli?
Lingard is a versatile player, capable of playing on either wing, in midfield or in the No10 slot just behind the striker.
But with Gareth Bale now on the books – as well as four-goal Saints hero Son Heung-min, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura – Lingard is unlikely to get a look-in on the wing.
That means Lingard will likely be forced to settle for a more central role.
Keen to reclaim a spot in the England squad for next summer's European Championship, Lingard could settle for a deep role in a midfield three.
Spurs started with Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for the 5-2 drubbing of Southampton.
Lingard would likely bump Ndombele or Winks out of that XI in a flat midfield trio.
However, Mourinho could look to jump-start Lingard's career with a free, roaming role in behind Harry Kane.
Playing off Kane – and ahead of Hojbjerg and Winks/Ndombele – Lingard could be given the freedom to find pockets of space and terrorise defences once more.
Either way, Mourinho's apparent willingness to spend £30m on the Man Utd ace suggests he is keen to offload Alli.
Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are just two clubs rumoured to be interested in the playmaker.
But Alli could move in the other direction, with Man Utd a potential landing spot – along with Inter Milan.
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