Will he stay or will he go?

That is the question regarding Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, who is a reported target for Real Madrid and Liverpool.

If Mbappe opts to call time on his PSG stall, the French champions are still aiming high.

 

TOP STORY – LIFE WITHOUT MBAPPE IN PARIS?

Paris Saint-Germain are more determined than ever to give head coach Mauricio Pochettino a dream forward line amid doubts over Kylian Mabppe's future, according to Le10 Sport.

Mbappe – out of contract in 2022 – has been heavily linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid and Premier League holders Liverpool.

If Mbappe does not remain in Paris, PSG will step up their pursuit of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

Massimiliano Allegri has turned down Roma as he waits for Madrid, repots Todofichajes. Zinedine Zidane is under mounting pressure in the Spanish capital, while it is a similar situation for Roma boss Paulo Fonseca.

Manchester City are willing to sign a striker and Messi this offseason, according to The Athletic. With City yet to offer Sergio Aguero a new deal, Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Inter pair Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku are reported targets as Pep Guardiola's side also eye soon-to-be free agent Messi.

- Fabrizio Romano says Liverpool have agreed to sign Ben Davies from Preston North End ahead of Monday's deadline day. Jurgen Klopp has been eyeing a defender due to the club's injury crisis.

Dele Alli's proposed switch from Tottenham to PSG is not progressing, reports Romano. Struggling for game time at Spurs, Alli has been keen for a loan move to PSG, but Tottenham are unwilling to sanction a departure as Inter block Christian Eriksen's return.

Leicester City are the frontrunners to sign Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles, claims The Mirror.

Mauricio Pochettino refused to be drawn on whether Paris Saint-Germain will go into the transfer market ahead of Monday's deadline amid reports he could be reunited with Dele Alli.

PSG have won four and drawn one of their five games since Pochettino was appointed as head coach this month.

Pochettino has been linked with a loan move for out-of-favour Tottenham midfielder Alli, although Jose Mourinho this week said he expects the 24-year-old to stay at the London club.

Inter's Christian Eriksen, another midfielder who played under Pochettino at Spurs, has also been mentioned as a potential target for the Ligue 1 champions.

Pochettino, who confirmed his assistant Miguel D'Agostino has tested positive for coronavirus, was giving nothing away ahead of Sunday's trip to Lorient and said "we will see" when asked if Bandiougou Fadiga could join Brest.

He said in a press conference on Saturday: "You have reminded me about there being three days left [before the window closes], but we are not paying attention to that right now.

"I am focused on the team improving and performing at its best."

Lyon beat Bordeaux 2-1 on Friday to go a point clear of champions PSG at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

PSG will be expected to return to the summit when they take on struggling Lorient, but Pochettino warned they must not be complacent.

"For PSG, every single game is important and we want to win every game. The priority is always the next game ahead of you, which is Lorient," he said.

"We always expect the same from our team, which is to win and compete in the best way possible, knowing that we are against a side that will make it very tough for us."

Pochettino plans to fully utilise his squad with such a demanding schedule to contend with.

The former Argentina international said: "Before every game every week we analyse every player individually and all the players train hard.

"All the players here, whether they are playing more or less regularly, they have to know that they will have an opportunity and must take it when they get one.

"That way, they are ready to fit straight into the team. We are always open to changes, as a coaching staff we are always open to giving players the chance to improve. They need to be ready to show they deserve a place in the starting line-up."

Gareth Bale has reached "a crucial moment" in his second spell at Tottenham and must help the team soften the blow of losing Harry Kane, according to Jose Mourinho.

The on-loan Real Madrid forward has struggled to make a major impression this season with Spurs, starting only one Premier League game.

Taking into account four appearances as substitute, Bale has played a mere 170 minutes in the English top flight this season, scoring once and creating four chances.

Barring a turnaround in fortunes in the second half of the season, his switch looks set to go down as a disappointing gamble by the club.

Bale scored 42 goals and had 20 assists in 146 Premier League games across his first spell at the club, productivity which heralded a big-money move to Spain.

With Kane facing a lay-off after injuring his ankle in Thursday's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, head coach Mourinho wants other players to "step up", starting from Sunday's game at Brighton and Hove Albion.

And asked whether Bale can do that, Mourinho said: "Yes, I hope so. He didn't play much [against Liverpool], he played 15 minutes with the team losing 3-1.

"But he played 90 minutes in the [FA] cup and that for him is a big impact for him, to play 90 minutes.

"It's a crucial moment for him, he's feeling better and better. When you lose a player of Harry's quality and dimension, the other guys have to step up and hopefully he can help us."

Bale's appearance in Monday's 4-1 cup win over Wycombe, a match in which he scored, was a signal that his fitness is returning, but Mourinho knows it will take a big effort from several players to fill the void created by Kane's setback, given the England captain is such a linchpin of the side.

"Harry Kane is Harry Kane, there are players in some teams that are not replaceable," Mourinho said.

Spurs were without a host of forwards for a time last season, with Kane and Son Heung-min particularly missed, and Mourinho was forced to field several makeshift line-ups.

Mourinho pointed to having Carlos Vinicius, Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Bale all available this time.

However, he stressed Bale could not be a like-for-like replacement for star man Kane, who has 12 Premier League goals and 11 assists this season.

Removing penalties, Kane has nine goals from an xG (expected goals) rating of 7.2, meaning he is exceeding what he might be expected to achieve based on his chances.

"I don't think Gareth is a striker and I don't think he likes to play as a striker," said Mourinho.

"It was something we spoke about when he joined us and he was very objective with me by saying that he doesn't feel he is a left winger, like he was before, or a number 10, like he was before too.

"The position he likes to play is the position where we are playing him every minute we are giving him, which is on the right side of attack.

"When Gareth plays, starting or coming from the bench, that's his position in our team."

Mourinho said Dele Alli, linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, is injured and would not be available for the Brighton trip.

Kylian Mbappe wants time to make a decision on his future as Real Madrid await a signal from the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Mbappe, 22, has been linked with a move to Madrid and his contract at PSG ends in 2022.

But will the forward end up at the Santiago Bernabeu?

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID WAIT FOR MBAPPE

Real Madrid are waiting for a signal from Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, according to Marca.

The report says Mbappe has asked for time to decide his future.

While Madrid have been most strongly linked with a move for Mbappe, Liverpool are also reportedly interested.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Madrid and Fabrizio Romano says a new contract for midfielder Luka Modric is imminent. The Croatian midfielder's current deal expires at the end of the season.

- Dele Alli's future is set to be a constant talking point until at least the end of this transfer window. ESPN claims Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to let the midfielder leave for PSG. Romano reports Spurs are still looking for a replacement and were working on re-signing Christian Eriksen, but Inter wanted a loan fee and the midfielder's salary paid in full.

- Lyon star Houssem Aouar was linked to Arsenal last close season, but the midfielder could head elsewhere. Gianluca Di Marzio reports Juventus are looking at the 22-year-old as an option ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

- Lucas Torreira seems set to move on from Atletico Madrid. Diario AS says Monaco are favourites to sign the midfielder, who is on loan at Atletico from Arsenal.

- Said Benrahma has made an impression at West Ham. Sky Sports reports West Ham have converted their loan for Benrahma from Brentford into a permanent move, paying £20million plus add-ons. The report says West Ham are also in talks to sign RB Leipzig forward Hwang Hee-chan.

Jose Mourinho doubts Dele Alli will leave Tottenham before the transfer deadline despite links with Paris Saint-Germain.

Alli has played only four times in the Premier League this season, those appearances amounting to just 75 minutes.

Having once looked like a future star of English football, the 24-year-old's career now appears to be at a major crossroads, with Mourinho seemingly unconvinced by him.

Mauricio Pochettino's appointment at PSG earlier this month seemed to be a lifeline for Alli, as a reunion with his former coach appeared to be on the cards.

But now Mourinho is not expecting any movement on that front, with Alli looking set to remain at least until the end of the season.

"I expect [Alli to stay] and I am saying that since the beginning of the window," Mourinho told reporters ahead of Thursday's clash with Liverpool.

"I was not expecting anyone to leave or expecting anyone to come. We are almost at the end of the window. I don't believe that anything will happen but it is open still."

When pressed on the matter, asked if there was still a chance Alli could leave, Mourinho added: "Football is football and the transfer window is open and sometimes unexpected things can happen but I don't expect it."

It was under Pochettino's guidance that Alli initially exploded in the Premier League, with his 63 top-flight goal involvements bettered by only six players across the attacking midfielder's first three seasons in the division.

He was proving a real weapon for Spurs in his role behind Harry Kane, and his 26 assists over the same period was the fifth highest in the Premier League – Alli found such consistency despite being significantly younger than those he was competing with.

But his form began to suffer towards the end of Pochettino's time at the club, scoring just two goals before the Argentinian was sacked last season in November 2019.

He then enjoyed something of a resurgence initially under Mourinho, adding another four goals to his tally by the end of January.

But after the Premier League's hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic, he made just one more domestic start and has been firmly out of the picture in 2020-21.

However, Tanguy Ndombele is living proof that Mourinho's perception can be changed, with the Frenchman now a key part of the Spurs side despite his days appearing numbered last term - his 14 Premier League starts in 2020-21 is already two more than the entirety of 2019-20.

"It was him, his responsibility," Mourinho said. "We always showed him the right way and demand a lot from him. If I did anything positive with him I believe it was not to play him when he was not in real conditions to play.

"I believe that we used some matches last season to expose his fragilities at the time. His physical condition was not especially good as an example but always his responsibility.

"He trains very hard, plays very hard with the ball and without it, tactically he understands what the team needs from him. He's feeling great and feeling very positive. It's his responsibility."

The battle to sign David Alaba continues among European giants, while Thomas Tuchel is eyeing Dayot Upamecano at Chelsea.

Alaba, 28, is set to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season and it was reported this month the defender had agreed a deal with Real Madrid.

But it seems the race to secure the Austria international's signature remains on.

 

TOP STORY – EUROPEAN GIANTS FIGHT FOR ALABA

Real Madrid have offered Alaba €11million per year and Manchester City are prepared to give the Bayern Munich star €14m, according to AS.

The report says Manchester United, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are also battling to sign Alaba.

Alaba has won nine Bundesliga titles and two Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies with Bayern.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuchel's appointment as Chelsea head coach was confirmed on Tuesday, and the former PSG boss is already looking to strengthen. Bild reports Tuchel wants RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano at Stamford Bridge. It comes as The Guardian reports Chelsea's interest in West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is likely to end following Frank Lampard's sacking.

- Real Madrid have work to do before the end of the season. Marca reports Luka Modric has agreed a new contract with Madrid, while Sergio Ramos and Lucas Vazquez are yet to accept offers. The report says Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez are their next priorities.

- Eric Garcia is linked with a move to Barcelona. Sport reports the next president of the Catalan giants must ratify the defender's five-year deal if the Manchester City defender is to arrive ahead of next season.

- Out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain the end of the season, Angel Di Maria's future is uncertain. L'Equipe reports the attacker, though, is on track for an extension with the Ligue 1 giants.

- Staying at PSG and the club are still pushing to sign Dele Alli on loan, according to Fabrizio Romano, who reports Tottenham are unwilling to let the midfielder go until they sign a replacement.

- Jordi Alba turns 32 in March and Barcelona are considering the left-back's successor. Mundo Deportivo reports Valencia's Jose Gaya and Chelsea's Marcos Alonso are candidates.

Jose Mourinho has clarified Dele Alli was only left out of the Tottenham squad against Sheffield United due to injury.

The absence of Alli from the matchday squad in Spurs' 3-1 away Premier League win last Sunday was another talking point in a turbulent season for the attacking midfielder.

Alli has only started one Premier League game this season and has been linked with a move away from Spurs, with Paris Saint-Germain a mooted destination.

Mourinho insisted a tendon injury was the reason Alli was left out and listed him among the injury doubts for Monday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wycombe Wanderers.

"The reason he did not play or was not selected for Sheffield is everything in relation to the injury that he has," Mourinho told reporters when asked about Alli.

"It's not an injury that will keep him out for weeks and weeks like Giovani Lo Celso.

"But is an injury that doesn't allow him to train fully with the team and like in the last couple of days, no chance for him even to train. So that's the situation for now.

"The injuries that have no doubts about playing or not playing is still Gio, who will be a couple more weeks. We have two or three players who have small injuries.

"Matt Doherty, who was not involved at Sheffield [is a doubt], Dele Alli has not been training in recent days with small problem in the tendon but not sure that he can [play], and Serge Aurier, not really well. 

"We still have three days before the match though and the only one I can say is out is Gio."

Mourinho recently praised the turnaround in midfielder Tanguy Ndombele’s Tottenham career, hailing his attitude.

But he insisted that should not have been perceived as a direct comparison with Alli ahead of what he expects to be a tough test against Championship outfit Wycombe.

Mourinho said: "I don't like to go in that direction, I was speaking specifically about Tanguy. 

"I didn't want to accept any responsibility in the change. That's the way I look at things. We are an external source of motivation. The real source is the player himself. 

"I was speaking of course in a very happy way about the Tanguy transformation and the way he is playing.

"With all the respect to Marine [in the last round], Wycombe is a different level, is a more difficult challenge. What we did well against Marine is not enough to win against Wycombe. 

"They are fully professionals, they are talented people, they have ambitions. We need more than we gave against Marine. 

"With all the professionalism the boys behaved there, but we need more because the game is going to be more difficult."

After facing Wycombe, Tottenham have a huge Premier League match at home to champions Liverpool on Thursday.

Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid is being questioned, while Paul Pogba could be set to stay at Manchester United.

Madrid were stunned by third-tier side Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, sparking fresh talk about Zidane's position at the helm.

Zidane is under fire, but the Frenchman may get more time.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE BEING QUESTIONED AS REAL MADRID BOSS

Zinedine Zidane is being questioned more than ever as Real Madrid head coach, according to AS.

The report says he will remain at the helm until the Champions League, which will resume in February, and former star forward Raul is the top candidate to replace him.

Madrid are second in LaLiga, seven points behind Atletico Madrid, who also have a game in hand.

ROUND-UP

- Pogba may be happier at Manchester United. The Daily Star reports United are increasingly confident the midfielder will see out his contract, which runs until 2022, despite interest from Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

- Christian Eriksen looks set to leave Inter, but it remains to be seen where he ends up. The Telegraph claims Leicester City have ruled out a loan move for the midfielder due to his wage demands.

- RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is set to be the subject of speculation for months to come. Goal reports Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have shown interest in the defender, who is also wanted by Bayern Munich.

- Dele Alli wants to reunite with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. 90min says the Tottenham midfielder has asked chairman Daniel Levy not to block a potential switch this month.

- Arsenal appear set to strengthen in January. Sport reports midfielder Martin Odegaard is very close to joining the Premier League club on loan from Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have reportedly agreed a deal with Bayern Munich defender David Alaba.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Alaba, 28, has been linked with Europe's biggest clubs.

And the Austria international looks set for the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – ALABA AGREES FOUR-YEAR DEAL WITH MADRID

Alaba has agreed a four-year deal with Real Madrid, according to Marca.

The Bayern defender will make the move to the LaLiga giants ahead of 2021-22, the report says.

Alaba was also linked to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Real Madrid and the news is not so good when it comes to Lucas Vazquez. AS reports the midfielder has rejected the club's first contract offer, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.

- Dele Alli is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain. The Sun reports the Tottenham midfielder is confident of getting a loan move to the Ligue 1 giants in January.

- Jesse Lingard's future at Manchester United is uncertain. ESPN reports the midfielder wants regular game time but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eager to keep him at the Premier League club. Lingard has made just three appearances in all competitions this season.

- After leaving the club in 2017, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar looks set to return to Schalke. SPORT1 reports the Ajax striker has undergone a medical ahead of a return to Schalke, who are bidding to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos' future appears no closer to being sorted.

Ramos, 34, is out of contract at the end of the season and reportedly turned down a one-year deal from Madrid.

And the Spain international's future remains uncertain.

 

TOP STORY – RAMOS, REAL MADRID NEGOTIATIONS AT A STANDSTILL

Negotiations between Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos are at a standstill, according to Le 10 Sport.

Amid the uncertainty over his future, Ramos has been linked with numerous European giants.

But Telefoot reported there had been no contact between Ramos and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

- Starting to find form again for Borussia Dortmund, Jadon Sancho is set to be the subject of transfer speculation ahead of 2021-22. But Sky Sports reports talks about a move for the reported Manchester United target are unlikely in January, with an off-season switch possible.

- PSG seem keen to land Dele Alli in January. Fabrizio Romano claims the midfielder is pushing to join the Ligue 1 giants on loan and Mauricio Pochettino's PSG will not give up on a deal.

- Milan appear set to add depth to their squad. The Serie A leaders have agreed a deal with former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, according to CalcioMercato.

- Staying at Milan and they are also reportedly set to land Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea. Romano says Tomori is set to join on loan with an option to buy for €30million (£26.7m).

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."

Dayot Upamecano is set to leave RB Leipzig – but not just yet – while Eric Garcia is getting closer to joining Barcelona.

Upamecano has been linked with several European giants after impressing for the Bundesliga club.

But the defender looks set to stay at the Red Bull Arena until the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – UPAMECANO SET FOR €42M MOVE

Leipzig are not considering selling Upamecano in January even though he can leave for £37.4million (€42m) at the end of the season, according to The Guardian.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have each been linked with a move for the France international.

Upamecano has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Garcia is seemingly getting closer to a Barcelona move. Sport reports the Manchester City defender is a step away from joining the Catalan giants on a five-year deal and Barca are hopeful a move can happen in January.

- Coming out of contract at the end of the season, Hakan Calhanoglu's future has been a talking point. Sky Sport reports negotiations are ongoing between Milan and the midfielder, who has been linked to United.

- Mauricio Pochettino seems eager to get Dele Alli to Paris Saint-Germain. The Guardian reports the Tottenham midfielder is PSG's main target this transfer window.

- Arkadiusz Milik is set to leave Napoli. CalcioMercato reports Marseille want the striker and had an offer of €8m rejected.

- With Frank Lampard under pressure, Chelsea were reportedly considering bringing back Avram Grant to support the head coach. However, The Sun reports the Premier League giants are not lining up such a move.

Frank Lampard's position as Chelsea head coach is under threat, while Tottenham have started talks to extend Harry Kane's deal.

Lampard is under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge after just one win in their past six Premier League games.

Sunday's 3-1 loss to Manchester City has only put further pressure on the Chelsea boss.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD'S POSITION AS CHELSEA BOSS UNDER THREAT

Lampard's job as Chelsea head coach is under serious threat, according to The Athletic.

The report says the Premier League club, who are eighth in the table, have started looking at replacements.

Lampard took charge of Chelsea in July 2019, but they sit seven points behind Liverpool and Manchester United – who have both played one game fewer – despite spending heavily in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- Kane's impressive form for Tottenham has seen him linked with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The Independent reports Spurs have started talks with the forward, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, over a contract extension, even though his current deal runs until 2024.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined with long-term injuries, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. But The Athletic reports the Premier League champions are not considering a move for Lille defender Sven Botman.

- Struggling for game time at Tottenham, Dele Alli is linked with a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. Foot Mercato reports Pochettino has spoken with Alli, who is open to a move.

- Staying at PSG and Sky Sports reports the Ligue 1 giants are in negotiations with Everton to sign Moise Kean on a permanent deal worth around €34.6million (£31m). Kean has scored nine goals in 16 games in all competitions on loan at PSG.

- Samuel Umtiti's Barcelona future is uncertain. Todofichajes reports Nice have a strong interest in the defender on an initial loan deal.

- Patrick Bamford has scored 10 Premier League goals this season and the Leeds United forward is out of contract next year. The Sun reports Leeds are set to reward the 27-year-old with a lucrative new deal.

Mauricio Pochettino is back in management. Over a year after leaving Tottenham, the Argentine coach has landed one of Europe's biggest jobs.

Paris Saint-Germain appointed Pochettino as Thomas Tuchel's replacement on Saturday, and the new boss is sure to have ideas about players he would like to join him.

PSG have been hit by a run of injuries this season, with Neymar currently sidelined with an ankle problem.

Their owners are no strangers to big-money purchases, though the coronavirus pandemic has made all of Europe's big clubs take stock and rein in their spending.

But who could be the likely candidates to join PSG under Pochettino?

Christian Eriksen

Eriksen played some stellar stuff at Tottenham under Pochettino. Indeed, in 191 Premier League appearances during the Argentinian's tenure, the former Ajax prodigy scored 43 times and provided 53 assists.

A set-piece specialist, it is somewhat surprising that only six of Eriksen's goals came directly from free-kicks, from 99 attempts.

He created 493 chances, with 64 of these counting as big opportunities, while he averaged a goal every 370 minutes and hit the woodwork on 17 occasions.

However, even in the latter days of Pochettino's time at Spurs, Eriksen was making noises about wanting to leave and, with six months remaining on his deal, he was sold to Inter last January.

It is a move which has far from paid off, and Eriksen has made just 12 Serie A starts for Antonio Conte's team. In December, Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed the Denmark international had been placed on the transfer list.

"I can confirm that Christian Eriksen is on the transfer list," Marotta told Sky Sport Italy. "He's going to leave in January. He's not functional to our plans and he had difficulty here at Inter. I think it's right that Christian goes away to find more space."

PSG had been tentatively linked with him prior to Pochettino's arrival, and a reunion with his former manager could be just the tonic for Eriksen.

Dele Alli

Another player who had been mooted as a target for PSG is Eriksen's former Spurs team-mate Alli.

Having signed from MK Dons in 2015, Alli transformed into a Premier League sensation and England regular under Pochettino's guidance.

He made 123 league starts for Pochettino, averaging a goal every 243 minutes, scoring 44 times in total and creating 203 chances, including 29 assists.

Despite a bright start under Pochettino's replacement Jose Mourinho, Alli has been out in the cold this season, starting just one league game – on the opening weekend, in a defeat to Everton – and scoring just two goals, both of them coming in the Europa League.

With a place in England's squad for next year's European Championship looking doubtful, Alli may well be on the move next month, and linking up with Pochettino would surely help revive his career.

Alli said in 2017 that he saw the coach as a father figure.

Lionel Messi

Former Espanyol defender and manager Pochettino recalled in 2018 that Messi was agonisingly close to joining Barcelona's cross-city rivals in 2005, only for a suggested loan move to break down.

Messi has gone on to win six Ballons d'Or, 34 major trophies and even surpass Pele's haul of 643 goals at a single club, as well as set countless other records.

Pochettino has made no secret of a desire to work with his compatriot. At PSG, the stars may finally align.

Messi reluctantly elected to stay at Barca for this season and see out the remainder of his contract, but he is set to become a free agent at the end of the campaign, assuming the new president cannot persuade him to sign a new deal.

Any deal would be far from cheap, but with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on board, the lure of Paris and Pochettino could be decisive for Messi.

A Blaugrana legend, Messi could lead PSG's push for Champions League glory and prove he is far from close to the end of his career – much like the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo has done at Juventus, albeit without a European crown so far.

A front three of Neymar, Mbappe and Messi would set Europe alight, and perhaps finally earn Pochettino the success his work has deserved.

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