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Mauricio Pochettino deflects talk on selling Dele Alli this summer

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It’s not a denial, but neither is it an indication that Spurs will sell him in the offseason.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Start up the panic engines! Mauricio Pochettino was directly asked about rumors linking PFA Young Player of the Year Dele Alli with an exit from Tottenham Hotspur this summer... and he punted, saying that he “can’t guarantee” that Alli will be in lilywhite next season.

“I cannot guarantee anything in life. The most important thing is to enjoy present and don’t think about future.

“In the future we will take the best decisions for club. After three years you can see how the team is improving every year and all our decisions so far have been good.

“Trust in the club that we will take the best decision to achieve things, to improve next season again. That’s the most important thing.”

So, ok. “Panic” is a little strong. Poch was responding to weird comments from former Barcelona star Xavi, who claimed Pep Guardiola was going to try and lure Dele to Manchester City this summer. That on its surface is pretty dumb, as I can’t see Daniel Levy agreeing to sell one of his best players to a league rival that is currently below Spurs in the table for any amount of money.

Poch’s comments also strike me as less OMG WE’RE SELLING DELE THIS SUMMER and more a recognition that, quite frankly, Dele’s going to land at a club like Barcelona or Real Madrid eventually and it’d be transparently dumb to issue a flat denial.

However, we all know that we’re playing with house money with regards to Dele. He’s a ridiculous talent, already on the verge of world class at age 21, who is only going to get better. It’s more a matter of when a continental club like Real Madrid drops a giant bag of money on Daniel Levy’s doorstep, not if.

Dele seems pretty happy at Spurs right now, and as things stand I find it unlikely that Tottenham sells him this summer. But we should start bracing ourselves for the inevitable big-money bid for Alli. It will come, eventually, and the club will need to make a decision.