Tottenham remain reluctant to allow Dele Alli to join Paris Saint-Germain on loan in the final days of the transfer window, despite the midfielder's desire to be reunited with former manager Mauricio Pochettino in the French capital.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is concerned about losing a talented member of the first-team squad, particularly given the difficulty of signing an adequate replacement mid-season and the possibility of injuries or a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp during the second half of the campaign.
There is also belief in the club's hierarchy that Alli, 24, can recapture the form that made him one of the brightest young players in Europe, although manager Jose Mourinho has appeared less convinced.
Alli has not started in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, when he was replaced at half-time in the defeat to Everton, and last featured on January 10 against eighth-tier Marine in the FA Cup.
PSG are said to be confident of signing Alli on loan until the end of the season with no option to make the deal permanent, with the player keen on the chance to kickstart his career and boost his chances of being included in the England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Spurs are conscious of Alli's preference for a change, which may help to soften their stance before Monday's 11pm transfer deadline, even if they cannot find a replacement – who would have to count as 'homegrown' if the club are to avoid further difficulties in naming their revised Europa League squad.
Alli was not involved in Monday's FA Cup fourth-round win over Wycombe and has missed training this week, with Mourinho saying on Friday he had a "small problem in his tendon".
Christian Eriksen, who left Spurs for Inter Milan a year ago, has been mooted as a possible replacement for Alli but Antonio Conte, the Nerazzurri coach, has ruled out the Dane leaving.
Eriksen scored a 97th-minute free-kick winner in the Milan derby last night and, asked about the unsettled playmaker afterwards, Conte told the Italian media: "For a month now I’ve been saying the same thing: this is the Inter squad. Nobody will arrive, nobody will leave. I keep saying it and nobody seems to believe me."