Jose Mourinho is frustrated he cannot call on Dele Alli for Tottenham's big clash with Manchester United on Friday.

England midfielder Alli must serve a one-match ban for a racially insensitive social media post he made in February, forcing him to miss Spurs' first game since the Premier League returned.

A video on Snapchat showed Alli in an airport mocking an Asian man in reference to coronavirus, before the lockdown. Alli said he videoed the man because he was coughing, not because of his ethnicity and admitted he made an "extremely poorly judged joke".

According to Mourinho, others have avoided punishment despite committing more serious misconduct during the pandemic.

Mourinho said in a news conference, held by video link on Thursday: "I feel very, very sorry that Dele is not playing. He is a player that works so, so hard during all this period and he's really frustrated that he cannot play the first match.

"I don't want to say much more than I don't think he deserves a one-match ban compared with wrong behaviours at much bigger dimensions that happened during this period without any consequences.”

The video posted by Alli showed him wearing a protective facemask in an airport and was entitled "Corona whattt, please listen with volume". It cut to the gentleman, who appeared to be unaware he was being filmed, before panning to a bottle of antiseptic handwash.

Underneath, a caption read: "This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me."

The 24-year-old deleted the video and posted an apology to the Chinese social media network Weibo.

Mourinho, who is preparing to face his former club, can recall England captain Harry Kane after a long injury lay-off, and that may allay the blow of losing Alli.

Asked how Tottenham would shape up without Alli, Mourinho said: “How are we going to play? I’m not going to tell you.”

Lionel Messi is reportedly set to re-sign with Barcelona.

The Argentina star is out of contract at Camp Nou next year, but is seemingly set to extend his stay with the LaLiga giants a little longer.

Messi, 32, has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona – and he may yet end up a one-club player.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TO EXTEND BARCELONA CONTRACT UNTIL 2023

Messi will extend his contract at Barcelona until 2023, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says the forward will get to decide if he wants to leave the club before then.

Messi is enjoying another fine season with Barcelona, scoring 26 goals in 33 games in all competitions.

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham want to hold onto their stars. The Telegraph reports chairman Daniel Levy is eager to keep Spurs' best players, including Harry Kane – who has been linked to Real Madrid – and Dele Alli and Son Heung-min.

- It remains to be seen if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal. CalcioMercato reports the forward – out of contract until 2021 – is open to a move to Inter, but the Gabon international is not among the Serie A club's top choices if they need to replace Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barcelona.

- Madrid are reportedly eager to sign Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. But Sport says the Ligue 1 club are working to extend the the 17-year-old's contract, with his deal running until 2022.

- Liverpool could be set to make changes. The Sun reports Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren could make exits, while Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson may leave on permanent deals. It also says Liverpool are set to give Naby Keita one more season to prove his worth.

- Borussia Dortmund seem some way off landing Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. Bild reports the Bundesliga club have offered just a little more than €20million (£17.9m) for Bellingham, who reportedly has a release clause of €35m (£31.4m).

- Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci is reportedly catching the eye. CalcioMercato says Milan have kept an eye on the 18-year-old, while Napoli and Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested.

Tottenham and England midfielder Dele Alli has been handed a one-match ban for a racially insensitive social media post, the Football Association (FA) has announced.

Alli was charged by the FA in February over a Snapchat post that showed him in an airport mocking an Asian man in reference to coronavirus.

The video showed Alli wearing a protective facemask in an airport and was entitled ,"Corona whattt, please listen with volume". It cut to the gentleman, who appeared to be unaware he was being filmed, before panning to a bottle of antiseptic handwash.

Underneath, a caption read: "This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me."

The 24-year-old deleted the video and posted an apology to the Chinese social media network Weibo.

He denied his initial post was in breach of FA regulations, and as detailed in the written reasons, Alli said he videoed the man because he was coughing, not because of his ethnicity.

However, his ban means he will now be absent when Tottenham resume their Premier League campaign at home to Manchester United next week.

Alli must also pay a £50,000 fine and undertake an education course after the governing body found his actions to be "insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute" under FA Rule E3 (1).

It additionally constituted an "aggravated breach" in line with the second sub section of that rule, because "It included a reference, whether express or implied, to race and/or colour and /or ethnic origin and/or nationality".

"It was not the FA’s case that Dele Alli was a racist," the FA's written reasons from the case read. " The FA’s case was that 'without sufficient thought', the player shared a video that depicted an 'unacceptable racist stereotype' in a misguided attempt at humour." 

In a statement posted on Tottenham's official website, Alli said: "In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologise again for any offence caused by my behaviour.

"It was an extremely poorly judged joke about a virus that has now affected us more than we could ever have imagined. I’m grateful that the FA has confirmed that my actions were not racist because I despise racism of any kind. We all need to be mindful of the words and actions we use and how they can be perceived by others."

Alli's punishment is identical to the one the FA handed to Bernardo Silva last year, when the Manchester City playmaker posted a tweet that compared team-mate Benjamin Mendy to a logo produced by Conguitos, a Spanish confectionary brand.

Conguitos' branding has been criticised for having racist connotations.

Paulo Dybala has revealed he is still not 100 per cent fit after overcoming coronavirus - but he is relishing the return of Serie A all the same.

The Juventus forward confirmed in March that he and girlfriend Oriana Sabatini had tested positive for COVID-19, by which time football in Italy had been suspended due to the pandemic.

Dybala had to isolate for over a month before Juve announced he had returned two negative tests on May 6, though he is still not yet in peak condition following his illness.

Having gone up against Tottenham's Dele Alli in FIFA 20 as part of a charity event organised by Gamers Without Borders, the Argentina international declared his delight at the upcoming resumption to the 2019-20 campaign.

"I had coronavirus, but I feel much better now," Dybala said during the Instagram Live transmission.

"I am still not quite at 100 per cent, but I'm pretty good. We've started training again and football is coming back, so soon we will be able to do what we love the most.

"I hope we can have fun and entertain.

"I think it will be useful because we will have many consecutive football matches, and people like us who love this wonderful sport will have the opportunity to watch a different game every day."

Argentinian Dybala defeated Alli while playing as Liverpool, even singing the Anfield club's anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' midway through the online game with the England midfielder.

As for the real action, leaders Juve - who sit one point clear of nearest rivals Lazio - restart their Serie A campaign with a trip to Bologna on June 22.

Before then, Juventus have the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan, which takes place in Turin on June 12. The first meeting between the teams finished in a 1-1 draw.

The 2019-20 Premier League campaign has at last been given a date from which to resume.

The competition, suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, will return from June 17 and, all being well, be played to its conclusion.

The disruption came with Liverpool just two wins away from a first league title in 30 years, while Manchester United had been improving in pursuit of Champions League qualification.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the most interesting facts relating to England's 'Big Six' and their campaigns so far.


LIVERPOOL

- Jurgen Klopp's side are top of the pile but do not look as defensively solid as they did in the 2018-19 season. Liverpool have conceded 21 times in the league this term, just one goal fewer than in their entire previous 38-game campaign.

- Roberto Firmino finally ended a long wait for an Anfield goal against Atletico Madrid in March. It was his first home Liverpool strike in 20 games in all competitions since netting against Porto in April 2019, 337 days earlier.

- The Reds were just starting to wobble slightly. With the defeat at home to Atletico, Liverpool had lost four of their past six matches in all competitions – as many defeats as in their previous 67 games.


MANCHESTER CITY

- Manchester City have lost seven Premier League games this season, one more than in their previous two campaigns combined.

- Heading into the break, Sergio Aguero had scored 180 Premier League goals for Manchester City. Only Wayne Rooney – 183 for United – has scored more for a single team in the competition's history, with Aguero passing Thierry Henry – 175 for Arsenal – earlier this term.

- Kevin De Bruyne is the first player to register 15 or more assists in three different Premier League seasons. Only Cesc Fabregas had previously done so in more than one campaign.


CHELSEA

- Chelsea have lost five Premier League home games already this season. Only in 1994-95 – seven times – have they been beaten more often at Stamford Bridge.

- The Blues are also winless away from home in the league in 2020, drawing three and losing one of their four matches. They last endured a longer such run in the 2015-16 season, failing to taste victory over seven straight away trips.

- Frank Lampard has been reliant on homegrown talent this season. Only Leicester City (31) and Southampton (24) have more goals from English players than Chelsea's 21 – level with United.


MANCHESTER UNITED

- United are unbeaten in 11 in all competitions, but their points return of 45 is still their lowest through 29 games of a Premier League season.

- Bruno Fernandes inspired their change in fortunes, though, and he has been involved in more Premier League goals (five – two goals, three assists) since his February 1 debut than any other player.

- At 25 years and 86 days old, United have the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season.


TOTTENHAM

- No side have kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League than Tottenham's four this season. The last time they kept so few in the first 29 matches of a campaign was in 2006-07 (also four).

- Spurs had been missing Harry Kane (131.18 minutes per goal), Son Heung-min (152.31 mins per goal) and January signing Steven Bergwijn (280.5 mins per goal) through injury. Dele Alli has the best minutes per goal ratio – 298 – among the rest of the squad in all competitions this season. Perhaps the break may have done them some good...


ARSENAL

- Arsenal have drawn 13 Premier League games this season – already their highest such tally since 17 in 1993-94.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 17 goals have been worth 16 points to Arsenal this season. Only Sadio Mane's 14 goals have been worth more (18 points) to a single club.

Dele Alli expressed his gratitude for the messages of support he has received after being assaulted by burglars on Wednesday.

The Tottenham star was struck in the face and reportedly held at knifepoint during the incident, which took place at his home in Barnet, where Alli, his brother, their two partners and a friend are staying.

Items of jewellery were among the items stolen by two intruders, who then fled the scene.

In a post on Twitter, Alli wrote: "Thank you for all the messages. Horrible experience but we're all okay now. Appreciate the support."

Earlier a Met Police statement said: "Police were called at approximately 00:35hrs on Wednesday, 13 May to reports of a robbery at a residential address in Barnet.

"Two males gained entry to the property and stole items of jewellery, including watches, before fleeing.

"Two male occupants at the property suffered minor facial injuries after being assaulted. They did not require hospital treatment."

Dele Alli is taking it upon himself to help Tottenham's youngsters navigate their way through the difficulties of life under lockdown.

The spread of the coronavirus has led to tight restrictions in many countries, with social distancing measures effectively confining many to their homes.

With sport across the globe on hold and daily life so severely disrupted, Alli is trying to do his bit to help his more youthful team-mates.

"As a more experienced player, I've been speaking to the younger lads and just making sure they are alright," he told Sky Sports.

"Even for myself, speaking to other people and trying to make sure I'm not in my little bubble here and that I reach out and communicate with other people.

"No one has been in this situation before, it's tough for everyone to deal with, everyone is in the same boat.

"I think it is great that people are using social media and different platforms to find ways to try and help anyway they can."

The restrictions were in place over Alli's 24th birthday earlier this month and he shared a social media post showing some rather subdued celebrations in isolation.

But the England international has been able to stay in touch with the Spurs squad via regular videoconference training sessions involving the whole team.

"Being stuck at home on your birthday isn't the most ideal thing, but I made as much fun of it as I could. It was a little bit of fun, I tried to keep it light-hearted," he said.

"We've been doing a Zoom session every morning at 11 o'clock, which is good because it keeps us in a routine.

"You have to get up early, eat well and do those sessions, which have been tough but also good as you get to see the boys every day."

The 2019-20 Premier League campaign has been suspended at least until April 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been 1,372 confirmed cases of the virus and 35 deaths in the United Kingdom, prompting a pause in the football season.

The disruption comes with Liverpool just two wins away from a first league title in 30 years, while Manchester United are improving in pursuit of Champions League qualification.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the most interesting facts relating to England's 'Big Six' and their campaigns so far.


LIVERPOOL

- Jurgen Klopp's side are top of the pile but do not look as defensively solid as they did in the 2018-19 season. Liverpool have conceded 21 times in the league so far this term, just one goal fewer than in their entire previous 38-game campaign.

- Roberto Firmino finally ended a long wait for an Anfield goal against Atletico Madrid this week. It was his first home Liverpool strike in 20 games in all competitions since netting against Porto in April 2019, 337 days earlier.

- The Reds were just starting to wobble slightly. With the reverse at home to Atletico, Liverpool have lost four of their past six matches in all competitions – as many defeats as in their previous 67 games.


MANCHESTER CITY

- Manchester City have lost seven Premier League games this season, one more than they had in their previous two campaigns combined.

- Heading into the break, Sergio Aguero had scored 180 Premier League goals for Manchester City. Only Wayne Rooney - 183 for United - has scored more for a single team in the competition's history, with Aguero passing Thierry Henry - 175 for Arsenal - earlier this term.

- Kevin De Bruyne has become the first player to register 15 or more assists in three different Premier League seasons. Only Cesc Fabregas had previously done so in more than one campaign.


CHELSEA

- Chelsea have lost five Premier League home games already this season. Only in 1994-95 - seven times - have they been beaten more often at Stamford Bridge.

- The Blues are also still winless away from home in the league in 2020, drawing three and losing one of their four matches. They last endured a longer such run in the 2015-16 season, failing to taste victory over seven straight away trips.

- Frank Lampard has been reliant on homegrown talent this season. Only Leicester City (31) and Southampton (24) have more goals from English players than Chelsea's 21 - level with United.


MANCHESTER UNITED

- United are unbeaten in 11 in all competitions, but their points return of 45 is still their lowest through 29 games of a Premier League season.

- Bruno Fernandes has inspired their change in fortunes, though, and he has been involved in more Premier League goals (five - two goals, three assists) since his February 1 debut than any other player.

- At 25 years and 86 days old, United have the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season.


TOTTENHAM

- No side have kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League than Tottenham's four this season. The last time they kept so few in the first 29 matches of a campaign was in 2006-07 (also four).

- Spurs are missing Harry Kane (131.18 minutes per goal), Son Heung-min (152.31 mins per goal) and now January signing Steven Bergwijn (280.5 mins per goal) through injury. Dele Alli has the best minutes per goal ratio - 298 - among the rest of the squad in all competitions this season.


ARSENAL

- Arsenal have drawn 13 Premier League games this season - already their highest such tally since 17 in 1993-94.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 17 goals have been worth 16 points to Arsenal this season. Only Sadio Mane's 14 goals have been worth more (18 points) to a single club.

Jose Mourinho does not expect Steven Bergwijn to play for Tottenham again this season, but he still believes his side can recover their Champions League tie against RB Leipzig.

Spurs revealed on Monday that Bergwijn had suffered a "significant" sprain to his left knee during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Burnley.

The injury further limits Tottenham's attacking options, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min already out until the closing weeks of the campaign.

Left-back Ben Davies will not be available against Leipzig either, with Mourinho's men trailling 1-0 after the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The head coach still has hope heading to Red Bull Arena, however.

Reflecting on Spurs' latest injury misfortune at his pre-match media conference, Mourinho said: "I can believe it.

"Ben [will be] one week, two weeks. With Steven, I don't expect him to play again this season.

"We're used to it. I'd say we were psychologically more down with the other injuries, because when you've got four or five injuries, what's six or seven?

"We are losing 1-0 at half-time. We were losing 1-0 at half-time two days ago [against Burnley]. It's something that's happened to us a few times this season.

"You ask me how can you score two goals without Kane, Son or Bergwijn, but there are many ways to score goals.

"A Leipzig player could even do what Antonio Rudiger did and score for us [an own goal in Chelsea's 2-1 win]."

Defeat would end Tottenham's hopes of silverware for another season, having exited the FA Cup last week, but Mourinho is confident he will deliver success during his tenure.

"I believe that Tottenham is not going to be my only club without silverware," he said. "I won at every club and I believe I'm going to do it at Tottenham."

Dele Alli acknowledged the blow of losing Bergwijn, but he is adamant Spurs cannot feel sorry for themselves.

"I think obviously firstly it's difficult to see Steve get injured, a new guy and a top guy," said the England international.

"I've shown that I like scoring goals, although it's probably not my most natural position. But we can't just get our violins out. We need to step up."

Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday to make it five games without a win in all competitions for Jose Mourinho's men.

Spurs headed to Turf Moor after four straight defeats, the most recent being a penalty shoot-out loss to Norwich City in the FA Cup that was followed by Eric Dier confronting a supporter in the stands, and slipped to their worst run since November 2016.

Chris Wood put Burnley ahead in the 13th minute, though Mourinho may wonder why the goal stood when the ball clearly struck Dwight McNeil on the arm in the build-up.

Tottenham lacked ingenuity in the first half and a tactical switch from Mourinho saw them offer a greater threat after the break, but a penalty from Dele Alli – his 50th Premier League goal for club – was all they could muster.

Burnley took the lead when Hugo Lloris diverted Jay Rodriguez's shot straight to Wood, who tucked home.

Tottenham appeared to be lacking ideas when going forward and Wood should have doubled Burnley's advantage in the 43rd minute, but he was unable to turn James Tarkowski's knock-down on target from inside the six-yard box.

Phil Bardsley saw an acrobatic effort sail narrowly over in stoppage time and Mourinho responded by changing to a four-man defence and sending on Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso for the second half.

Lo Celso made a quick impact by driving forward and releasing Lamela, who was felled by Mee in the box and Alli sent the resulting penalty into the bottom-right corner.

Burnley felt they should have had a penalty when Davinson Sanchez sent Wood to ground in the 55th minute, but referee Jon Moss saw nothing wrong with the challenge and the VAR did not intervene.

The closest Spurs got to snatching a winner came when Lo Celso bent a wonderful effort from 18 yards narrowly wide, while a good save from Lloris in the 84th minute stopped Matej Vydra consigning them to defeat.

Jose Mourinho would not blame Dele Alli for Tottenham's latest defeat despite accepting the makeshift striker's missed chance against Wolves was a critical moment.

Alli played as a central forward in the 3-2 home loss to Wolves on Sunday with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min out injured, Spurs suffering a third consecutive reverse across all competitions.

With Tottenham 2-1 up in the second half and on top, the England international sent a free header from Ben Davies' deep cross narrowly off target.

Two minutes later, Diogo Jota levelled the match and Raul Jimenez went on to score a late winner, but Mourinho felt Alli had been unfortunate.

"The match was close and will always be close," Mourinho, who also said the result was unfair on his players, told reporters.

"If you look at it in that perspective then yes, we missed a big chance to score a beautiful goal and to make the score 3-1. That's football though, and nobody's to blame.

"Ben arrived in a great position, the cross is great and Dele makes the run that he has to make.

"He's pretty good in the air for a player who is not a striker. He's a good header of the ball. He was unlucky.

"Obviously without the strikers we tried different solutions. I think it worked in the sense that we managed to score goals. We managed to have some opportunities.

"We managed to arrive in dangerous positions. I believe we had more possession than them. We had more control than them."

Highly rated youngster Troy Parrott came off the bench in stoppage time but Mourinho insisted the 18-year-old is still not ready for regular first-team action despite the club's lack of attacking options.

"He is not ready, he is not ready," Mourinho said of the Irish striker. "He's a good kid, a good talent, he's a kid we want to help. He's a kid who needs help, not just on the pitch but outside the pitch.

"He's a kid we are going to take care of like we have since the beginning and he's a kid who is obviously going to have a real opportunity in the right moment when we feel it is the moment.

"Why was he on the bench? He was on the bench because Erik Lamela told me before the game he was not even ready to go on the bench.

"So, in that moment, without Lamela, we brought Troy in and in the last five minutes we put on a striker who at least knows the position so he could try to fix Conor Coady, giving Dele some more space and freedom.

"That is the way it is. We have to try to keep close [to the top four] until the moment we have our power back."

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been charged with misconduct over a social media post in which he appeared to joke about the coronavirus.

On February 9, Alli shared a video to his official Snapchat account, which showed him wearing a facemask in an airport departure lounge.

In the clip – captioned "Corona whattt [sic], please listen with volume" – Alli focused the camera on a man of Asian appearance before turning it on a bottle of antiseptic hand wash.

"This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me," read the second caption.

Alli deleted the video and issued an apology on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

Despite his contrition, Alli has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3.

The FA statement confirming the charge read: "It is alleged that the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder's post breaches FA Rule E3(1) as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
 
"It is further alleged that the post constitutes an "Aggravated Breach", which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether express or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin and/or nationality."

Alli has until March 5 to respond to the charge.

Jose Mourinho saw evidence of exactly what Tottenham are missing in the absence of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min as Olivier Giroud scored for Chelsea on Saturday.

Giroud, who has been Chelsea's third-choice striker behind Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi for much of the season, started against Spurs and netted the opener in a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Mourinho's men were again without Kane and Son as they recover from injuries that are expected to keep them out for much of the season.

After the match, Mourinho repeated claims he could not wait for the end of the campaign as he spoke of the difficulty of competing in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League with depleted attacking options.

"It's very difficult," he told a post-match news conference. "The next three months are going to be very difficult.

"In three or four weeks, [Moussa] Sissoko is back, and he's not a striker but he is another solution for us. I hope that by April, Sonny or Harry [Kane] makes a fantastic recovery like Hugo Lloris did.

"Hugo came to play a couple of weeks before the expected time. Nobody expected him to come when he did.

"So with effort of the players, the medical people, the sports science people that work with the injured players, let's hope it's not until the end of the season. Not months but weeks, like Simon [Felstein, head of communications at Tottenham] says [when confirming Son's injury]."

Mourinho added: "Look at Chelsea. They played the striker of the world champions [France international Giroud].

"On the bench was the second striker of England after Harry Kane [Abraham], in the stands the second striker of the Belgium national team [Batshuayi].

"We have zero strikers on the pitch, zero on the bench, zero in the stands. We have two in the hospital. That's the situation, an incredibly negative situation.

"I'm very proud of the boys, I cannot ask more from them. I am happy with them."

Even with Tottenham's issues, Mourinho chose to start with Dele Alli on the bench. But the Tottenham coach stood by his call, even if it did not pay off.

"We started the game thinking, 'Lucas and Bergwijn they are still more or less fresh, so let's try'. We tried, we didn't score," he said. "[Willy] Caballero made a great save.

"We know we cannot create lots of chances. So, in the last part of the game, what's the plan late in the game? We bring on [Erik] Lamela if we can. We bring on Dele.

"We didn't have a presence in the box, the opposition is going to try with the low block, so let's try to have one with Dele. We are trying to do things but it's very difficult for us."

Lucas Moura looks set to lead the line for injury-hit Tottenham's Champions League round of 16 first leg against RB Leipzig in the absence of Son Heung-min.

Son faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a fractured arm in Spurs' Premier League win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

With Harry Kane still absent due to a hamstring injury, Tottenham are without a recognised striker in the starting line-up to face Leipzig on Wednesday.

It appears Alli could move into a more advanced role, with Lucas up top and Steven Bergwijn also offering support along with Giovani Lo Celso.

Jose Mourinho has made two changes to his starting line-up for the clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Gedson Fernandes and Lo Celso coming into the side as Eric Dier drops to the bench 

Timo Werner will provide Leipzig's main attacking threat in a contest that will see Julian Nagelsmann become the youngest manager to take charge of a Champions League knockout match at the age of 32.

 

Jose Mourinho has drawn a line under the controversy surrounding Dele Alli's apparent joke about the coronavirus outbreak after the Tottenham midfielder apologised.

On Saturday, Alli shared a video to his official Snapchat account, which showed him wearing a facemask in an airport departure lounge.

In the clip – which was captioned "Corona whattt [sic], please listen with volume" – Alli zoomed the camera towards a man of Asian appearance before turning it on a bottle of antiseptic hand wash.

"This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me," read the second caption.

Alli deleted the video and issued an apology on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

The coronavirus outbreak in China has impacted thousands, with the nation confirming on Friday the death toll has risen to 1,380.

While the Football Association (FA) could yet punish Alli, Mourinho highlighted the England international's presence of mind to apologise and express regret.

"It was not his intention to offend, he apologised immediately, regretted and recognised it was a young guy mistake, a young generation mistake and he apologised," Mourinho said.

"So, my conversation [with Alli] was easy, as it was not one of a contradiction of ideas. It was not him not understanding why I was unhappy, so it was so simple.

"What can I say? He regrets and, for me, that's the best feeling he can show, and to have the humility to apologise I think is also remarkable, because sometimes these young people make mistakes and don't realise – so this conversation was so easy.

"I have a son and daughter basically at the same age as Dele and many of my players - I know what social media is for this generation.

"But when you are a public person like footballers are, they have to know and have to be very careful.

"I repeat, Dele is a great guy. The last thing Dele is is anything connected with racism or disrespect, not at all, but these are current mistakes that some people sometimes make. But again, the good thing for me is regret and apologise, so for me it's end of story.

"I'm not the FA, I'm just his manager, his friend. I repeat, at the same age I have two great kids in my house, and I have to act as an educator and I think the best way to do it is immediately his reaction – regret and apologise."

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