Everton must move to sign Tottenham Hotspur outcast Dele Alli in the January window after Jose Mourinho ruled out a mid-season exit for Harry Winks.
Mourinho has vowed there is “no way” Winks will be leaving north London in the upcoming market, despite the midfielder often being overlooked and considering a temporary move away in order to secure his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Winks has not played a single minute of Premier League football since Spurs drew 3-3 with West Ham United in October, shortly after which he admitted to finding it “difficult” being a reserve in Mourinho’s plans.
The 24-year-old’s discomfort has failed to force Mourinho into a change of heart, with Winks omitted from five of Tottenham’s seven top-flight matchday squads since entering the action as a 73rd-minute substitute at home to the Hammers.
Everton had been touted as a potential destination for Winks were he to be granted a loan move in January, but that route has now been slammed shut with Mourinho adamant the 10-cap international is going nowhere anytime soon.
“In relation to Winks on loan in January, no way,” Mourinho said, via quotes by the Evening Standard, before adding: “He came to me. Not just him, many players come to me.
“I have my office on the first floor, but I also have a little space on the ground floor next to the players’ dressing room where I used to be before and after training sessions to make it easy for them.
“So, it is easy for them to come around the corner to speak to me, so yes, Winks came to speak to me.”
Everton chiefs are not only thought to be monitoring Winks’ situation at Tottenham but also that of Alli, who has similarly found game time a struggle to secure this season with Mourinho awarding the 24-year-old just 71 minutes in the Premier League thus far.
Alli earned the most recent of his outings as an 85th-minute substitute at Crystal Palace on Sunday, having returned to the matchday squad for only the third time this term and first since Spurs thrashed Manchester United 6-1 in early October.
The Milton Keynes-born maestro has featured more frequently in the Europa League, where he has netted his only goals and assist to date, but may force a winter loan to better establish himself in Southgate’s thinking ahead of next summer’s postponed Euros.
It remains to be seen if Mourinho will grant Alli an exit having only namechecked Winks, but former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy would urge the Toffees to try their luck at signing the £46.8m-rated midfielder once lauded as a “freak of a talent”.
“If you throw Dele Alli at his best into the mix with Richarlison, James [Rodriguez] and [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin, that starts to sound very appealing,” he told talkSPORT.
“Obviously, Everton’s problems more recently have been defensive but let’s look at it from an attacking point of view, what does Dele bring you when he’s at it?
“Tremendous movement off the ball, good finisher, good awareness in the box, assists were high in his first few seasons for Tottenham. He’s not become a bad player overnight.”
Carlo Ancelotti is yet to settle on his third central midfielder to partner Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure with Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph all given minutes in the league. Alli, though, would bring a level of creativity above that of the aforementioned quartet, and round out what would be a potentially glorious front four.