Jose Mourinho has hinted Dele Alli might not be doing enough to turn around his situation at Tottenham.
England international Alli has been confined to the margins of Mourinho’s squad this season, with only one of his four Premier League appearances coming as a starter.
Those top-flight outings total a meagre 74 minutes overall and, although he has been a more frequent fixture in midweek cup line-ups, reports that the 24-year-old is unhappy hardly come as a surprise.
A reunion with former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain has been touted, although Mourinho insisted having disgruntled players in a dressing room is a fact of life for any coach.
However, when distinguishing between unhappy players who “work, work, work and work” and others who think such toil is “not his job”, he tellingly did not specify a category for Alli.
“In every dressing room are unhappy players,” he told reporters ahead of Sunday’s match against the Premier League’s bottom club, Sheffield United.
“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 [player] that believes that it’s not his job to fight and to work every minute for the squad and for the club.”
Nevertheless, Mourinho suggested he would probably be reluctant to let Alli leave if Spurs are unable to source a replacement during this transfer window.
“The question is if I let Dele go without getting a player in exchange and I’m not going to answer that,” he 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.”