Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has said Dele Alli "doesn't need to be sacrificed" but that he wants a balanced squad and it is difficult to fit all of his players into it.
Alli was left out of Spurs' 5-2 win against Southampton on Sunday and speculation over the England midfielder's future has grown since he was substituted at halftime in their 1-0 defeat by Everton in their Premier League opener.
The 24-year-old also missed the trip to Bulgaria for Spurs' Europa League clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv last week and British media have linked him with a move to Paris St Germain.
"You could see our team. I cannot start with all of them and I cannot have a bench without defenders or midfielders. In the same way the squad is a puzzle, the bench is also a little puzzle," said Mourinho.
When asked if he wanted Alli to stay at Spurs, Mourinho said: "I want a balanced squad, that's what I want. He doesn't need to be sacrificed, but the squad is a puzzle."
Spurs face Leyton Orient in the League Cup on Tuesday.