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Alli should embrace Barca and Madrid talk, says Tottenham legend Mabbutt logo 28-02-2017

Former Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt says Dele Alli should embrace speculation suggesting that he is a transfer target for Europe's top clubs.

Real Madrid and Barcelona have been credited with holding an interest in the England international, with the 20-year-old having slipped seamlessly onto Premier League and international stages.

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It has been suggested that such talk could prove to be a distraction for a player of such promise, but Mabbutt does not believe that Spurs or the player should let it impact on them.

"No that shouldn't affect him, talk about other clubs coming in for you," Mabbutt, speaking ahead of the London Football Awards, told Omnisport.

"What I would say is that, for me, I love it when other clubs are talking about wanting our players or our manager it means we're in the right place.

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"I find it all very flattering if any of our players are being talked about for Barcelona or Real Madrid or going wherever and are in demand.

"That proves a point that we're obviously going in the right direction."

Since moving to White Hart Lane from MK Dons, Alli has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence and is now a key player for club and country.

However, he has not always made headlines for the right reasons.

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His 2015-16 season was prematurely ended when he punched West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob to earn a three-match ban, while another red card against Gent last week stunted Tottenham as they suffered Europa League elimination.

And Mabbut says Alli – who scored in Sunday's 4-0 win over Stoke City – must recognise that provocation will continue to come his way.

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