Graves made the revelation whilst hosting the Transfer Talk podcast. Graves' fellow Sky Sports reporter Aidan Magee was explaining on the podcast how he'd covered Spurs' signing of Alli at the time, to which Graves remarked: "Newcastle were in for him but they wouldn't pay the £4m."
Alli debuted for MK Dons as a 16 year old back in 2012 after being promoted from the team's youth set-up. Alli was under the all-seeing eyes of Premier League scouts while he played over 80 games for MK Dons. Magee explained on the podcast that Alli's performance in MK Dons' 4-0 win over Manchester United, back in 2014, was the catalyst for his transfer to Spurs.
Newcastle fans will be used to hearing this sort of news - recent transfer windows under the ownership of Mike Ashley have been barren, so it won't come us a surprise that Newcastle refused to pay just £4m to sign Alli. Yet, going by Magee's words, he believes Newcastle never had a chance to sign him - adding: "Tottenham were always going to get him."
Former Spurs manager David Pleat has also recently revealed, in his column for the Daily Mail, the key role he played in bringing Alli to White Hart Lane, saying: "I think over time my consistent, positive reports and my constant verbal batterings held sway when Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy sought assurances over value."
Spurs were ultimately the team to take the chance signing Alli who was a teenager at the time playing for a League One side. But looking back three years on, with 38 goals to his name, Spurs' £5m bet on Alli has massively paid off.