Ian Ayre: This is why Liverpool didn’t sign Tottenham star

Former Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre explains why the Merseyside club didn't sign Dele Alli ahead of Spurs

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli Photo: Dele Alli/Instagram

Liverpool were close to signing Dele Alli ahead of Tottenham Hotspur before backing out of a deal for the midfielder, the club’s former chief executive Ian Ayre has revealed.

The England international won the PFA young player of the year for a second successive season following an impressive return of 16 goals and five assists in 32 appearances in the Premier League.

Alli moved to Tottenham in a £5m deal from League One outfit MK Dons back in the 2015 summer transfer window before wasting no time establishing himself in Mauricio Pochettino’s first-team.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has scored 26 goal in 64 games in the Premier League in two seasons, which has earned comparisons to Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes.

Former Liverpool managing director Ayre has lifted the lid on the transfer negotiations with Alli and ultimately why the Merseyside club backed out of a deal for one of Europe’s most-exciting talents.

“There was interest in the player, but where it got to was that the demands at that time were not fitting to what he had achieved at that point,” Ayre told Sky Sports.

“We didn’t feel the player matched that demand. It’s easy to sit and say ‘look what you could have bought’, but how many players could you apply the reverse of that to? That’s the truth.”

MORE: Latest Tottenham Hotspur news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Tottenham are in second place in the Premier League table and eight points ahead of Liverpool.

Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane (Photo: Screen grab / Sky Sports)
Roy Keane reacts to Man United's collapse in 2-2 draw at Aston Villa
Roy Keane
Roy Keane names three players he’d keep at Man United
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano provides update on Chelsea FC search for January signing
Gossip
Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool FC prepare £33.4m offer for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips - report
Gossip
Mikel Arteta
Juventus want Arsenal to include Thomas Partey in Arthur Melo deal - report
Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane (Photo: Screen grab / Sky Sports)
Roy Keane reacts to Man United's collapse in 2-2 draw at Aston Villa
Roy Keane
Roy Keane names three players he’d keep at Man United
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano provides update on Chelsea FC search for January signing
Gossip
Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool FC prepare £33.4m offer for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips - report
Gossip
Mikel Arteta
Juventus want Arsenal to include Thomas Partey in Arthur Melo deal - report
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature