Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has refused to rule out the prospect of Eric Dier moving to Manchester United this summer.
Jose Mourinho had placed the Englishman high on his list of desired midfield options ahead of the transfer window but has proven unsuccessful in his attempts to prize him away from White Hart Lane.
The 23-year-old wants a move to Man United but Spurs have been typically averse to doing business with another Manchester club, reportedly rejecting a £60m advance for the midfielder’s services.
But Pochettino, speaking earlier this week, couldn’t outright reject the prospect of Dier leaving this summer.
“Today he is so calm and he is our player,” he said.
“He is an important player for us and the idea is not to sell him.
“I think it is a good thing many clubs are talking about our players. It means we have good players. I don’t know why other people are so focused on my players and our club.
“I respect every single opinion. I am so respectful of other players, other clubs, other managers, the owners of different clubs.
“My job is to be focused on my players and my team and try to work together with our board, our fans, everything that is involved with the club.
“I show respect. I’m not a manager who likes to speak about other clubs or managers or what happens in the corner.”
Of all the players United have reportedly pursued this summer, Dier has always emerged as the least likely. Tottenham – and Daniel Levy in particular – have been militantly opposed to seeing another one of their key assets join a Manchester club after letting Kyle Walker switch to Manchester City, especially since they haven’t actually signed anybody yet.
And with two weeks left until the new campaign kicks off, the idea of Spurs further weakening themselves and emboldening United in such a crucial area would be footballing suicide.
Nobody, after all, wants to give United an easy transfer window if they can help it.