Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has no interest in leaving the LaLiga giants.

Speculation over the France international's future has increased amid his, and Barca's, struggles.

But the 29-year-old seemingly wants more than one season at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN NOT INTERESTED IN BARCELONA EXIT

Griezmann has no interest in leaving Barcelona, according to Le Parisien.

Since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €120million, Griezmann has managed just 14 goals in 43 games this season.

Griezmann was introduced as a 90th-minute substitute in Barca's 2-2 draw with his former club on Tuesday.

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- Staying at Camp Nou and Quique Setien's future as Barcelona head coach remains a talking point after one win in four games. AS reports Setien is not in immediate danger but is far from safe, while Sport says his future is uncertain, although the club are hoping to keep him at the helm until the end of the season.

- Manchester City look set for a rebuild in the close season. The Guardian claims Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, who is out of contract next year, is a target for the Premier League giants.

- After making a stellar start to the season with Lyon before suffering a serious knee injury, Memphis Depay has been linked with a move. Le 10 Sport reports Arsenal want the attacker, who has 14 goals in 18 games this season.

- Carlos Tevez's future remains uncertain. Ole says the former Manchester United and Manchester City forward, 36, could retire as he struggles to agree to a new contract with Boca Juniors.

- With Bruno Lage on his way out as Benfica coach, the Portuguese giants are searching for a new boss. According to A Bola, Benfica have looked at the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Ernesto Valverde and Laurent Blanc, but are now considering former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal coach Unai Emery.

- Tottenham defender Serge Aurier could be set for a move. Sky Sports reports Monaco are interested in the Ivory Coast right-back.

Jose Mourinho believes Tanguy Ndombele can turn around his situation at Tottenham, highlighting Luka Modric's difficult start to life with Real Madrid.

Ndombele is a club-record signing following his £55million arrival from Lyon last year but the French midfielder has struggled in London, and he has reportedly told Mourinho he no longer wants to work with him.

The likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with Ndombele, who was an unused substitute in last week's 2-0 Premier League win over West Ham.

But Tottenham boss Mourinho has backed Ndombele, pointing to Modric's impact at Madrid. Following a tumultuous start in the Spanish capital after leaving Spurs in 2012, the Croatian has gone on to win the Ballon d'Or, four Champions League titles and LaLiga.

"Nothing happens when the players have no talent. So when a player has no talent, nothing happens. When you are born with no potential, you die with no potential. When you have talent lots of things can change and lots of things can happen," Mourinho said ahead of Thursday's clash against Sheffield United.

"As you say I didn't know it, one year since he arrived, but maybe six months since I arrived. So for the first six months I'm not the guy to go through what happened in the first six months, which I think is very important when a player arrives from a different club, different country, football culture – I don't know what happened in this first six months, I know when I arrived that there were problems.

"Injuries, small injuries, physical condition and that broke that initial impact that when a player starts working with a manager, immediately broke that impact you can have with other players.

"Now it’s the situation where everyone has to adapt to it, I want everyone to adapt to it, the club wants everyone to adapt to it, which is the fact that we are a big club and we want to be a bigger club. 

"When you are a big club that wants to be bigger, you have lots of good players, you don't have fix or six, or 10 or 11, you have lots, and when you have that you have lots of options.

"You can face all the competitions, but then the players, fans, you the press, everyone must understand you can only start with 11, and in many other clubs it looks like it's normal to have great players on the bench. 

"You go to Manchester United, you go to Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and lots of top players on the bench, and that is normal.

"In Tottenham, what I feel is every time a top player is on the bench, that's a drama, and players have to understand that is not a drama, you have to understand it's not a drama and everyone has to understand I hope next season we have even more top players on the bench because it means we want to be bigger than we are now. 

"When a top player is on the bench, that doesn't mean there is a story behind it, it means we have lots of options. So the other day when I played [Moussa] Sissoko and [Giovani] Lo Celso in midfield, there is no drama that [Harry] Winks is not playing or Ndombele is not playing. There is no drama [Erik] Lamela isn't playing, that's life in a big club.

"So, no problem with Tanguy, he is in a big club, period. He's in a big club and he has to compete with the other guys. He's an option for me, he's a very good player, he probably will be playing tomorrow, the next match, there is no problems."

Asked if Ndombele can turn his situation around, Mourinho added: "Of course I believe – I started my answer, if there is no talent, there is nothing to do, with talent there is a lot to do. You don't have talent, you have no chance. You don't have talent, you have no chance. 

"Football is full of players with difficult starts. Luka Modric in Real Madrid, after six months he was elected the worst signing of Real Madrid history by the fans and press, a few months later he was champion, then European champion and then voted the best player in the world. When the talent is there, many things can happen with adaptation, but if the talent is there anything good can happen."

Quizzed on whether Ndombele has a problem with his mentality, Mourinho replied: "That's a question for him, not a question for me.

"I've known him six months and it's not for me to define the psychological profile of a player. One thing is feelings, another is the reality. I'm no genius to in six months get into someone's brain to describe 100 per cent how the person is feeling, you have to ask."

Jose Mourinho is hopeful that Eric Dier will sign a new contract with Tottenham.

The versatile England international's deal expires at the end of next season, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and manager Mourinho want him to stay.

Dier has informed Mourinho of his desire to extend his stay at the Premier League club, which was music to the ears of the Tottenham boss.

Mourinho said: "My boss Mr Levy tells me that he wants Eric to sign a new contract and Eric tells me that he's more than happy here, more than happy with his situation, especially now that he feels we have a certain idea for him and the deal.

"And he tells me also that he wants very much to stay.

"So I hope that we can find an agreement because I'm trying to take the team in a certain direction and when I try to develop a player in the team it's because I'm waiting for a player to stay with us."

The London club travel to Sheffield United on Thursday in the battle for European spots and Mourinho says Europa League rather than Champions League qualification would not be a failure.

"If you tell me I start the season with zero points like everyone else and at the end of the season I am not in a Champions League spot I would say disappointing," the Portuguese said.

"If I put myself in my day one and where the team was and everything that happens I would say I would not be disappointed because the situation was incredible.

"But we are going to fight until we can, until it is mathematically impossible. One objective is points on the table but we cannot forget that one objective is working for the future, working for next season.

"This is not a waste of time for us. It doesn't matter how we end the season, to know the players, to work with the players, to make decisions to improve the team step by step in certain areas I think is also very important for us.

"We just want to play and see where we are at the end of the season. When the season finishes we know a couple of weeks later we are starting pre-season for the next season and then is the moment to say everyone has the same points let's go and fight."

Add Tottenham to the list of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic admirers.

The Lazio star and Serbia international has teams queuing up for his services, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly tipped to secure his signature.

However, Premier League outfit Spurs are now eyeing Milinkovic-Savic.

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC WANTED BY SPURS

Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Tottenham, according to Foot Mercato.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, having been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City and Chelsea.

While a move for Milinkovic-Savic appears out of reach for Spurs, Jose Mourinho is still dreaming.

 

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- While Milinkovic-Savic is a dream for Spurs, The Telegraph says Tottenham are confident of signing Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Mourinho, however, must raise transfer funds through sales from his squad.

Inter are in advanced talks with Brescia to finalise a deal for star Sandro Tonali, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. Inter have agreed a five-year deal with Tonali.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future at Milan beyond the 2019-20 season is complicated, says Calciomercato. Ibrahimovic is out of contract at the end of the campaign and the 38-year-old striker is no closer to signing an extension. While he would like to remain at San Siro, an extension looks set to be postponed until the proposed arrival of Ralf Rangnick as head coach.

- Sport Bild reports Bayern Munich are hopeful of extending David Alaba's contract, despite failing to come to an agreement at a meeting last week. Alaba has been linked to Chelsea recently. Meanwhile, Sky Sport says Bayern are not prepared to exercise their option to sign Ivan Perisic permanently from Inter following his loan spell.

- ABC says Real Betis have been in negotiations with former West Ham, Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini about their coaching vacancy.

Milan and Napoli are both interested in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, claims Le10 Sport. The Serbian could be a replacement for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been linked to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

- The Daily Mail reports Arsenal are ready to use out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as a bargaining chip in a potential swap deal. United, PSG, Madrid and Barca have emerged as possible destinations.

Barcelona midfielder Arthur and Juventus' Miralem Pjanic are seemingly getting closer to swapping clubs.

The LaLiga and Serie A giants have been linked with numerous moves this close season, but one may be getting close to completion.

Arthur and Pjanic are set to trade places and it could be close to reality.

 

TOP STORY – ARTHUR, PJANIC SET FOR MEDICALS IN TURIN

Barcelona midfielder Arthur and Juventus' Pjanic will undergo medicals on Sunday, according to Sport.

The Catalan sports paper says Arthur flew to Italy on Saturday accompanied by a Barcelona doctor ahead of checks in Turin.

Arthur will then return to Barcelona and finish the season with the LaLiga champions, who slipped up again in their title defence on Saturday as Celta Vigo twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw.

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- Manchester United may still be trying to find a way to land Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho. The Mirror reports United need to sell at least four stars – including Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard – if they are to get a deal done for Sancho.

- Staying at Old Trafford and United could be getting closer to signing Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish. The Daily Express says Grealish has found a house to buy in the North West.

- Chelsea may yet strengthen further ahead of next season. According to The Sun, they are growing confident they will sign West Ham star Declan Rice in the close season.

- Arsenal's decision to re-sign David Luiz has been criticised. However, The Telegraph reports the Brazilian defender agreed to a significant pay cut.

- Tanguy Ndombele's future may be at Tottenham. Football.London reports Spurs have no plans to sell Ndombele at the end of the season, with Jose Mourinho having denied reports of a rift with the midfielder earlier this week.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich appear to be keen on adding more local talent to their squad.

Spaniard Thiago Alcantara is reportedly unwilling to extend his Bayern contract beyond 2020-21.

So, Bayern could use the star midfielder in their efforts to prise Germany international Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN WANT THIAGO OUT AND HAVERTZ IN

Bayern Munich want to sell Thiago Alcantara to fund their move for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, according to Kicker.

Thiago reportedly wants to leave Bayern amid links to Liverpool after opting against a new deal in Bavaria.

Now, Bayern are looking to offload Thiago for €60million (£53m) in order to sign Havertz for €80m.

Havertz has also been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

 

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- Staying in Munich and Kicker also claims Bayern have joined Borussia Dortmund and United in the race for Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham.

- TF1 says Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has been in contact with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Inter over an exit from London.

Liverpool have made a big offer to sign Wolves speedster Adama Traore, according to Mundo Deportivo. Traore has also been linked to the likes of Barca and Madrid.

- According to Fichajes, Tottenham have made an offer for in-demand Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes. The likes of Napoli, Everton and Madrid are also looking to sign the Brazilian.

- Is Hellas Verona's Marash Kumbulla set for Lazio? Gianluca Di Marzio reports Lazio have tabled an offer for the defender, who is also wanted by Juventus and Inter.

- Could Tanguy Ndombele and Philippe Coutinho swap clubs? The Independent says Barca have reached out to Tottenham over an exchange deal involving either Coutinho or Nelson Semedo for wantaway Spurs midfielder Ndombele.

Arsenal could make moves for Chelsea's Willian or Coutinho, according to the Daily Mail.

Milan are in talks over the return of Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, says Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schira. Bakayoko spent the 2018-19 season on loan at San Siro.

Kalidou Koulibaly has been a man in demand for quite some time.

Clubs in Europe have reportedly queued up to sign the Napoli centre-back.

Koulibaly could finally get his move, with a Premier League giant reportedly working on a deal.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FRONTRUNNERS FOR KOULIBALY

Manchester City are favourites to prise Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, according to Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times.

Koulibaly has long been linked with a Napoli exit – City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Real Madrid and Barcelona all reported admirers.

But it seems the star defender is more likely to join Pep Guardiola's City than Premier League leaders Liverpool.

 

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Edinson Cavani is among the alternatives to Inter's Lautaro Martinez for Barcelona, says Sky Sport Italia. Barca want to sign Martinez but the LaLiga champions are struggling to meet Inter's demands. Now Cavani, who will not sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain and is a free agent, could end up at Camp Nou. The Uruguayan forward has also been linked to Inter and Atletico Madrid. Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also on the list, though Juventus are reportedly eyeing the disgruntled Gabon international.

Juve and Barca have reached an agreement over a swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic, reports Goal. Arthur had been reluctant to leave Barca for Juve but the Spanish giants could receive a fee of €70million.

Liverpool are frontrunners to sign Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara, says Bild. The Spanish midfielder had been set to extend his contract but he has apparently backed out of a new deal.

Borussia Dortmund may keep Jadon Sancho after all. The England international has been tipped to join United at the end of the season. Unless Dortmund receive £117m (€130m), they will continue with Sancho, reports Sport Bild, which also claims the Bundesliga club could offer a bumper new deal.

- Gianluca Di Marzio says Lazio and Inter are battling over the signing of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. Inter have reportedly made a €25milion offer for Kumbulla, who has also been linked to Juve.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are going head-to-head for Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, claims WinSports. Chelsea are believed to have submitted an offer worth £8m (€8.8m) more than Madrid's bid.

Fred is ready to discuss a new long-term contract with United, the Sun reports. After a difficult start to life at Old Trafford, the Brazilian has established himself as a key member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

- According to Le10 Sport, Madrid and Barca are interested in Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho played down suggestions of a rift with Tanguy Ndombele after Spurs' win over West Ham.

Ndombele, a club-record signing from Lyon for a reported £55million last year, was again an unused substitute as Tottenham recorded a 2-0 win in the Premier League on Tuesday.

But reports in France said the midfielder had told Mourinho he no longer wanted to work with him.

However, Mourinho dismissed suggestions of a disagreement, telling a news conference: "No. On the bench was Tanguy, was [Ryan] Sessegnon, Toby [Alderweireld], [Jan] Vertonghen. Who else? Gedson [Fernandes] and they didn't play and that's football. For me, there is nothing.

"I have attacking players on the bench, [Erik] Lamela and Harry [Winks], two great players to bring and then wings to give us more consistency. This situation of the five changes, some people maybe think that you have to do the five changes, you don't have to do it, you have the chance to do it.

"I felt that the team was fine. I never believed that 2-0 was a completely safe result because of course they were trying everything and one goal could change our state of mind and give them the motivation they need for the last minutes so I decided to keep the team stable and three changes were enough."

Mourinho added: "It's not just him, I try to do the best for my team, I cannot start the game with 12 or 13 players, I try to do the best for the team.

"Sometimes I apologise to my players that are not my first choice because I feel the work in training is something that deserves more than what I give, but I have to do my job the best I can and I felt for these two matches I didn't need him."

Spurs are seventh in the table, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, after a Tomas Soucek own goal and Harry Kane strike.

Mourinho said he warned his players of the importance of claiming three points when they were level at half-time.

"First of all, the three points were not important, they were crucial. I told the players that at half-time," he said.

"Don't think if we don't win this match we still can think about chances because tonight is three points or nothing so three points fundamental, then great clean sheet."

Harry Kane said he feels "as fit as I've ever done" after scoring his first goal of 2020 in Tottenham's 2-0 win over West Ham on Tuesday.

Kane returned to action for the first time since New Year's Day following a hamstring injury and the coronavirus-enforced hiatus in Friday's draw with Manchester United.

The England striker looked visibly off the pace in that game and wasted several chances against West Ham before making sure of the points eight minutes from time.

Tottenham's win moves them within a point of fifth-placed United and sixth-placed Wolves in the race for Champions League football.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Kane said of his goal: "As a striker, it's what you want to do, you want to score goals, you want to help win games.

"I'm happy to get back on the scoresheet. It was a tough game, it took us a while to break them down. Obviously we had a few chances before we scored the first one, then it was nice to finish it off at the end.

"When you've been out for over six months, it's getting that feeling back on the pitch. You can train as much as you want, but being out here is totally different. I had a few I probably should have scored – definitely one other – but it was nice to put that one away.

"I've been working very hard all through my rehab, through the lockdown and the warm-up games leading to the first Premier League game. I feel as fit as I've ever done before.

"It's been a good chance to rest, recover and work on a few things I haven't been able to over the years. I'm feeling in good shape.

"I'm someone who, whether I score or not, miss chances, I'm always ready for the next one. I don't think it bothers me too much. But scoring is one of the best feelings in the world. It's been a while since I've done it. It's great to get that.

"We've got a little rest now – it's Sheffield United next in a big game – so hopefully we can continue from this win and take it into the rest of the games."

Kane's goal came in his 200th Premier League appearance for Tottenham. He has 137 goals for Spurs in that time, only Sergio Aguero (138) has scored more in his first 200 league appearances for a club.

"It's good but it can always be better," Kane added of that tally. "Look, 200 games goes so quick. I've been playing first-team football now for five or six years and the years just fly by.

"I've got to make the most of it, keep in as good shape as possible. I'm still only 26 and I've still got plenty of years to go, so hopefully I can get to that 200 mark sooner rather than later and see where we go from there."

Harry Kane scored his first goal since December as Tottenham boosted their Champions League hopes with a 2-0 win over West Ham. 

Tomas Soucek inadvertently turned into his own net in the 64th minute to give Spurs the lead and Kane, who finally returned from a hamstring injury suffered in January in Friday's draw with Manchester United, made sure of the result on his 200th league appearance for the club. 

Victory for Jose Mourinho's men keeps the pressure on Manchester United and Wolves as they seek to return to the Champions League following their last-16 exit this season. 

Meanwhile, West Ham remain outside the bottom three only on goal difference having suffered successive defeats since the season resumed after the coronavirus-enforced hiatus. 

The Hammers succeeded in neutralising Tottenham's threat in a first half that was most notable for VAR ruling Son Heung-min had strayed offside before lashing beyond Lukasz Fabianski in the 45th minute. 

Tottenham registered the only two shots on target of the first half - one of which came from a vicious long-range drive from Lucas Moura, who struck woefully wide in stoppage time after good work down the left from Ben Davies. 

Fabianski had to be alert to block Kane's flicked effort at the near post from Serge Aurier's right-wing cross before Pablo Fornals spurned a presentable opportunity at the other end. 

Kane fired narrowly over the crossbar from the edge of the area and was guilty of profligacy at the end of a rapid counter, firing wide of the right-hand post by an even finer margin. 

But Tottenham finally broke the deadlock in fortuitous circumstances when a corner from their right struck the back of Soucek's leg and squirmed past Fabianski. 

Jarrod Bowen clattered the post for West Ham before Kane surged through and slotted home in confident fashion to seal the points. 

The queue to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho is long.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are all reportedly eyeing the England international.

United, though, are prepared to wait.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TO BIDE TIME OVER SANCHO

Manchester United are waiting for Jadon Sancho's price to drop before making a move for the Borussia Dortmund star, according to the Daily Mail.

Sancho has been tipped to join Premier League giants United at the end of the season, though Liverpool, Chelsea, former club Manchester City and Real Madrid are also believed to be interested.

However, United are hoping to drive down the £100million (€110m) price tag.

 

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Dortmund, meanwhile, have beaten United to the signing of Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. That is according to ESPN, with the Bundesliga side set to announce the 16-year-old's arrival in the coming days.

- Could Arsenal and Roma be involved in a swap deal? The Daily Star says Arsenal are hoping for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to join Roma on a permanent basis, in exchange for Justin Kluivert.

Barcelona are desperate to sell before the end of the month to balance their accounts, claims Sport. The LaLiga giants are working hard on moving Jean-Clair Todibo and Philippe Coutinho out the door. Barca are willing to accept €70m (£63m) for Coutinho, who has been linked to Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle United.

- Il Mattino and Calciomercato.com report Arkadiusz Milik is discussing a new contract with Napoli. The Poland international has been linked to Serie A champions Juventus, Inter, Milan, Tottenham and Arsenal.

- Italian journalist Nicolo Schira says Inter are looking to sign Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Lautaro Martinez joins BarcaParis Saint-Germain have also emerged as a possible destination for Aubameyang.

Jose Mourinho has a new nickname for Harry Kane after the Spurs striker completed 90 minutes in his first outing for five months against Manchester United.

"Hero Kane" was unable to find the net during Friday's 1-1 draw but Mourinho has no doubt the England captain's goalscoring form will come.

Kane ruptured hamstring tendons during Spurs' 1-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year's Day, undergoing surgery that might have threatened an early end to his season without the coronavirus shutdown.

Ankle problems have also been an unwelcomely familiar hindrance over recent years for the 26-year-old, but Mourinho marvelled at how he has thrown himself into hard work on the training field since Tottenham regrouped for the season restart.

"I know that if tomorrow he scores two goals, the talk stops, but let's suppose that he doesn't score a goal. I think it's just normal process," said Mourinho, whose team host West Ham on Tuesday.

"How long it will take? I don't know. All I know is Harry Kane had an incredible effort. He played 90 minutes, he was training again today and yesterday, he's ready to play tomorrow.

"He's an incredible professional, he's super committed with the team. If I have to wait patiently for him to score two goals or three goals in one game and then everybody starts saying that Harry Kane is back, I wait.

"But for me, it is not Harry Kane, it is 'Hero' Kane because a guy that had a big surgery has a lockdown that stopped the perfect rehabilitation.

"With all the difficulties, then coming to normal training only for a couple of weeks. For me, 'Hero' Kane. If he gives me the same [against West Ham] that he did against United I will be more than happy."

Kane has scored seven times in 11 outings under his current manager, part of an overall season haul of 27 in 32 appearances for club and country.

Mourinho made a impassioned defence of his track record with star forwards such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba, following claims by former England international Paul Merson that Kane would struggle to remain prolific under his management.

Of Kane's 36 touches against United, none came in the opposition penalty area and Merson suggested the player might consider his future at the end of the season, with Spurs missing out on European football a possibility.

Nevertheless, Mourinho is confident his premier attacker will remain and insisted the player's ambitions are aligned with those of himself, Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis – Tottenham's chairman and owner respectively.

"The club doesn't need to do anything," he said. "The club just need to say, 'Harry Kane is ours, Harry Kane has a long-term contract, Harry Kane is not for sale, Harry Kane is Tottenham, Harry Kane is staying.'

"We want the same. He doesn't want anything different to what Mr Levy wants, Mr Lewis wants and what I want. He doesn't want anything different than us."

Spurs are eighth in the Premier League table, nine points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea with eight matches remaining.

Even allowing for the prospect of Manchester City's Champions League ban being upheld and fifth place granting entry to Europe's top competition, Mourinho is prepared for the reality and consequences of Tottenham falling short.

He added: "If we get a Champions League position, we are helping the club; if we get a Europa League position, we are helping less but we are still helping the club.

"If we don't get a Europa League position, we are not helping the club in relation to that extra money."

Jose Mourinho has passionately hit back at suggestions he will not be able to get the best out of Harry Kane as Tottenham manager.

Kane's performance in Spurs' 1-1 home draw against Manchester United on Friday prompted former Arsenal star Paul Merson to cast doubt over the England captain's suitability in Mourinho's system.

Responding at a news conference ahead of Tuesday's home Premier League match with West Ham, the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Inter boss stressed he respects Merson.

But Mourinho felt the comments had prompted unfair analysis over Kane's future at Spurs.

He launched into a four-minute answer listing forwards who had succeeded under his management, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, accompanied by statistics.

Kane had scored seven goals in 10 matches before suffering a serious hamstring injury on January 1, with the United game, in which he played the full 90 minutes, marking his return to action.

"I feel a bit strange about some analysis and some comments," said Mourinho. "The beginning of some comments and analysis started from Paul.

"I have to say I respect people a lot like him and because I respect him a lot, I want to be nice in my answer. I try to be nice and I try just to say something where people can think a little a bit.

"First of all, Harry played his first game for six months and if you watch the game and you analyse the game, compare Harry Kane with Anthony Martial.

"Was it a game of many chances? Was it a game where the two strikers had a lot of chances? Do you give credit to my defence for Martial's game? 

"Do you give credit to United's defence and for the occasions we created or we didn't create? I think you have to look at it in a balanced approach.

"In our case, Harry doesn't play a game for six months. Phenomenal [that he played 90 minutes]. 

"The record of goals that Harry has with me is easy for you. You just look, go to your data and it is easy to see how many matches Harry played with me before his injury and how many goals he scored."

Uninterrupted, Mourinho's impassioned defence continued as he added: "I can say that I had a few strikers that played for me and they are not bad. 

"I had one guy called [Didier] Drogba. He played for me [over] four seasons. He scored 186 goals which gives an average of 46 goals per season.

"I had one guy that is not also bad - he [Ronaldo] plays for Juventus now. He played for me [during] three seasons. He scored 168 goals, which gives an average of 56 goals per season.

"I had another guy who is not also bad called Karim Benzema. He played for me [during] three seasons.

"He was not always starting because he was quite young at that time. But he scored for me 78 goals in three season which gives a 26-goal average per season.

"I had another one called [Diego] Milito. He played one season for me [and] he scored 30 goals. He won three titles and of course the average is 30 [per season].

"I had another guy that played for me [over] one and a half seasons - I say one and half because in the other half he had a big injury. A tall guy called Zlatan [Ibrahimovic].

"He played one and a half seasons. He scored 58 goals which gives a 29-goal average per season.

"So, dear Paul, I have lots of respect for you. [But] I think Harry Kane has no problems at all to score goals in my teams. 

"Especially when he is fit, fresh, when he has routines of playing. So, that is my message to somebody that I have lots of respect for."

Jose Mourinho admits Steven Bergwijn was not his first-choice option in the January window but is delighted with the winger's impact since joining Tottenham.

The Netherlands international opened the scoring in Friday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United to make it three goals in eight appearances for the London side.

Bergwijn has added an extra dimension to Spurs' attack and Mourinho is pleased the club pushed ahead with the signing, even if the left-sided attacker was not his primary target.

"He's a good player. Congratulations to my club because initially he wasn't my first option – in the end it was a great decision," he said at Monday's pre-match media conference.

"He's a player with a bright future and we are more than happy."

Mourinho has a near fully fit squad to choose from for Tuesday's Premier League clash against West Ham, with Dele Alli back from suspension and Lucas Moura overcoming a knock.

And the Portuguese is relishing the prospect of fielding his favoured attacking line-up for the first time since succeeding Mauricio Pochettino in November.

"It's only good news [on the injury front]. Lucas is back. Dele Alli is back from punishment and no injuries were reported in the game against United," he said.

"We didn't lose any players and we have two extra players who make my squad really good. It's the first time since I arrived that I have all six attacking players available.

"It's a problem that we love. The problem that we hate I had for a long time. It's very good news for us because we need everybody."

Juan Foyth will miss out on the midweek London derby with a troublesome knee injury, but Mourinho denied reports the centre-back requires surgery.

"Surgery? Unless he has consultation by Zoom in Argentina, I hope not," he said. 

"The information I had from medical department is he'll have recovery period and be available for some matches."

Spurs head into the match winless in seven, a run that has seen them exit two cup competitions and lose ground in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Mourinho acknowledges that only victory will do against West Ham to keep alive his side's hopes of Champions League football next season.

"I think we have to think about winning the game. Even a draw is not a good result for us," he said. 

"If you want to finish seventh, if you reduce our ambition, then a point is a point. If you want think about the biggest ambition as possible then we'll need to win."

David de Gea's struggles at Manchester United have gone beyond the point where they can be considered a blip, according to the club's former captain Gary Neville.

The Spain international made a costly mistake against Tottenham on Friday as he failed to keep out a shot from Steven Bergwijn.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side went on to salvage a 1-1 away draw thanks to Bruno Fernandes' late penalty.

But De Gea's error prompted an astonishing rant from another ex-United skipper, Roy Keane, who branded him "overrated" and said he would have been tempted to punch the Spaniard in the dressing room.

Neville has similar concerns and feels United can no longer rely on the 29-year-old, whose problems date back to the World Cup.

"De Gea was the one player United could rely upon for the last four years but he is not the same," he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.

"He hasn't been the same for some time. When form drops for six months it's a blip but when it goes on for a year you start to worry. When it goes over two years it becomes more permanent.

"That is now a fair representation of what De Gea is as he's making lots of mistakes. Ones he would never make – he was always somebody you could completely rely upon. 

"The reception he's got in Spain has affected him. He's even been booed by Spanish fans when he's wearing the Spanish shirt. 

"In the World Cup in 2018 he really struggled and from that he's doubted himself."

Neville believes the problems for De Gea – who joined United in 2011 – are in the mind, urging him to get back to basics and work harder than he has done at any other point of his career.

"It can only be a confidence thing," said Neville. "Mentally he's not quite the same. The arms, legs and body are the same – it's got to be the mind.

"He's got to go back to basics. There's only one thing you can do when you're having a tough time: work, work harder than you have ever done in your life. 

"What will happen is that you will tell yourself the amount of work you put in you deserve to be good again. That means coming in at 7.30am and leaving at 6pm if needs be.

"He has to do something to stop the erosion. Mistakes like that can happen on the first game back but it's happening far too much over the past couple of years."

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