Former Liverpool chief executive officer Ian Ayre has revealed the Merseysiders decided not to sign Dele Alli from MK Dons because they did not believe he was worth £5 million.
Ayre was speaking at a lecture in Liverpool on Wednesday night when he claimed MK Dons valued Alli too highly for the Reds to make a move.
The midfielder, now rated as one of the best young players in Europe, eventually joined Tottenham for £5 million.
“There was interest in the player,” said Ayre, “but where it got to was that the demands at that time were not fitting to what he had achieved at that point.
“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.”
It seems bizarre that Liverpool weren’t willing to pay such a relatively small amount for Alli at the time, but nobody could foresee just how rapidly the England international’s stock would rise.
On top of that, there’s a good chance Daniel Levy negotiated a price drop when he agreed to loan Alli back to MK Dons for six months. Perhaps MK Dons asked Liverpool for more than £5 million to sign the youngster immediately.
Regardless of the details, Spurs fans will be delighted about how things turned out.