Reports: Barcelona eye Spurs star as potential Coutinho alternative
What's the story?
Barcelona are reportedly considering a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli instead of going in again for Liverpool and Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho in January, according to BBC Sport.
In case you didn't know...
According to Phil McNulty of BBC Sport, Barcelona had three bids rejected for Coutinho in the summer transfer window. Now, Barcelona-based newspaper, Sport, is leading with a story about the Catalan club switching their attentions to England international Dele Alli (via Sport Witness).
The heart of the matter
There has been a feeling that headline writers in Spain have been producing huge transfer stories about Spurs pair Dele Alli and Harry Kane in order to throw them off their game when the north London side face Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages, but the same cannot be said about this story from Sport, with the newspaper being very pro-Barcelona.
That said, the bias towards the Camp Nou club means that the report linking Dele Alli with a move to La Liga should be taken with a pinch of salt — although it’s not impossible that Barcelona are interested in signing him.
Whilst Coutinho wanted a move, it remains to be seen what he achieves with Liverpool this season. Barcelona's interest could also be non-existent come next summer. Dele Alli, on the other hand, may decide he should follow Gareth Bale abroad to Spain.
Alli is younger than Coutinho, so he would probably command a similar price tag and offers more of a direct goal threat with his physicality than Coutinho does — he may also be tempted, like many before him, by the chance to play with Lionel Messi and win league titles — something Tottenham have not managed since 1961.