José Mourinho loves to play the hits. Two of the Portuguese manager’s favorite tricks when he takes a new job are to fall out with a popular and talented (if sometimes workshy) player, and to sign a senior pro with whom he’s worked with before. Well, it appears that the Tottenham Hotspur manager is attempting to kill two birds with one stone with his latest transfer plan. Out goes the current occupant of Mourinho’s Dog House, Dele Alli, and in comes out of favor Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.
Lingard has found himself on the fringes on the United squad in recent months, and had arguably his worst season last campaign. The England international had been consistently linked with a move away from Old Trafford in search of regular football, particularly after hiring Mino Raiola as his new agent not long ago. In a transfer market where many clubs have been adversely affected by the loss of gate revenue due to the coronavirus, however, there were not many suitors for Lingard and his relatively hefty wages.
Lingard > Tottenham possible only if Dele Alli will leave. Let’s see on next days.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 20, 2020
In Mourinho, though, Lingard has one definite admirer. The United academy graduate had his best ever season under the former manager, scoring 13 goals in 2017/18. While at United, Mourinho would often single out Lingard for praise of his work ethic and tactical understanding. Mourinho reportedly has the backing of Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy, who is working on finding a surprise exit for Alli in order to finance a move for Lingard.