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I can't point hreflang towards deindexed pagesWhy not? How is it any different from any other link to a non-indexed page, which everyone does every day for all sorts of perfectly valid reasons?
I think the alternative language version is rubbish, why would I want to reference it anywhere?If it's genuinely rubbish, why would you want to have it on your site in the first place?
Our site has an alternative language version, but it's unmaintained and rubbish, and I won't have it indexed (it's not an option to remove it, unfortunately).