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."

Jan Vertonghen and Michel Vorm have extended their contracts at Tottenham until the end of the season.

The Premier League club confirmed on Monday the pair have agreed temporary deals to keep them in north London for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign, which has been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Long-serving defender Vertonghen and third-choice goalkeeper Vorm had been due to become free agents on June 30.

Tottenham also announced Danny Rose and Kyle Walker-Peters will complete the season with loan clubs Newcastle United and Southampton respectively.

Vertonghen has been with Tottenham since 2012 but has been strongly tipped to leave when the transfer window opens.

The former Ajax defender recently hinted that Italy and Spain are possible destinations, but boss Jose Mourinho has not ruled out a longer-term deal.

Vorm returned to Spurs on a free transfer in October but has made just one appearance in all competitions.

Tottenham are back in Premier League action on Tuesday with a home match against London rivals West Ham.

Bruno Fernandes believes there is more to come from his fledgling midfield partnership with Paul Pogba at Manchester United.

Fernandes made an instant impact at Old Trafford after joining from Sporting CP in January and his effort from the penalty spot in Friday's 1-1 draw at Tottenham was his third goal in six Premier League appearances.

Pogba won the penalty and his introduction from the bench after the hour mark injected United with fresh impetus.

It was the France international's first outing since Boxing Day in a season ruined by foot injuries, but Fernandes is hopeful their understanding will grow in tandem under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"When we were training in groups I was in the group with Paul, so to find the connection is easier," he told Sky Sports.

"But I found a good connection with everyone and the most important thing is the team. 

"I think Paul thinks the same [as me] and we are happy. Paul won the penalty, I kicked it. The most important thing is the team. It doesn't matter who scores, or the assist, or anything. 

"As a team we need to look for the Champions League. We need to try to be close to try to catch the guys who are in front.

"Unfortunately we are [only] one point closer, but they need to play. We'll see."

United are fifth in the table but will fall five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with nine matches remaining if Frank Lampard's side are able to beat relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho felt he had "no bench to react" during Tottenham's 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United on Friday.

Bruno Fernandes' 81st-minute penalty cancelled out Steven Bergwijn's goal as Spurs and United returned to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

United were also awarded an even later penalty, but a VAR check reversed the on-field call.

But Mourinho rued a lack of options off the bench, with the absences of Dele Alli and Lucas Moura hurting Spurs' depth in attack.

"I liked the team attitude, the team organisation, the control, the following of a plan, being very solid, giving to United what they don't like, really happy with that," the Spurs head coach told Sky Sports.

"I'm unhappy with the fact that the way I was reading the game, I had no bench to react to it.

"With Lucas and Dele Alli, they would be on the bench or playing, then I would have had on the bench some of our attacking players, because they become more dominant because we tired up front. By being tired we couldn't press, making it easier for them to build.

"At the same time, we couldn't be dangerous on the counter-attack because we had no legs for that. It was hard for us to manage the game in that sense.

"I'm also not happy with the penalty and I'm also not happy with the second penalty. I'm unhappy with the VAR, not the referee. The referee in the game can make a mistake, give a cheap penalty. But then the VAR is there to do the job. I'm not unhappy with [Jonathan] Moss, I'm unhappy with the VAR.

"With the second penalty, I'm unhappy with Moss because he didn't give the free-kick on Serge Aurier, again giving a cheap penalty, a non-penalty. In this case, the VAR gave the truth over what happened in the box."

While Mourinho lamented his lack of options, United introduced Paul Pogba, who was fouled for the penalty converted by Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Odion Ighalo off the bench.

"United had it, Spurs did not. It was not just Pogba. They had Paul, they had Greenwood, they had Ighalo," Mourinho said.

"If they wanted to decide, they could have had Jesse [Lingard], who can change the face of the game, or one in short spaces who can find something really good.

"That's what five changes can [do] with a powerful bench with options."

Ahead of facing West Ham on Tuesday, Spurs are eighth in the table – four points behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels Paul Pogba has the chance to enjoy a fresh start at Manchester United after impressing as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Making his first appearance since December 26 due to a foot injury, Pogba was fouled by Eric Dier for the penalty that was converted by Bruno Fernandes to bring United level in the 81st minute.

The Frenchman demonstrated flashes of his ability during the cameo off the bench, while a potential midfield combination with January addition Fernandes showed early signs of promise.

Solskjaer praised the impact of his subs against Spurs but was particularly pleased for Pogba, who has made just five Premier League appearances in a 2019-20 season that has now resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I think the performance second half deserved a point, or three points. The players that came on I thought made a difference," Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

"Of course Paul's contribution is there to be seen – he played the pass of the day when he played Marcus [Rashford] through, then had the skill of the day when he won the penalty. 

"Paul's one of the best in the world and it's great to have him back. It's good to give him minutes and he will work hard to get even fitter for the next time, to play even more.

"He's delighted to be back on the pitch. He's had a nine or 10-month injury nightmare. It's not like he's been out for 10 months. He's almost come back, work hard, work hard, and then gets injured again. 

"He was close to coming back before the lockdown and now finally he’s back playing. I'm sure everyone can see he has a great hunger for the game and is a very good footballer."

When asked if this is a fresh start for the World Cup winner at the club, the United boss replied: "I think so. 

"Coming into this team, it's a different team to the one he left with his injury. Bruno has come in, the boys have got some momentum before the lockdown and we are more confident, even though for the first 45 minutes we doubted ourselves too much. 

"The boys need to trust themselves more, trust their own fitness. They have worked so incredibly hard, and I think we saw second half that we were fit and can keep on running."

Fernandes has now been involved in six league goals since moving to Old Trafford, scoring three. Solskjaer admitted the key is to make sure both the Portuguese playmaker and Pogba can prosper in the same line-up.

"We are a club who want the best players in the world playing together," the Norwegian said on the duo.

"We just need to find the right balance, attacking and defending. That's always a key word when you're set a team up. I think today Paul showed he can play with Bruno, and Bruno has scored a penalty for us and got a goal." 

Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Tottenham means they are unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions, scoring 30 and conceding three in that time. 

They have progressed through that run mostly without Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, two standout stars who returned to action in north London on Friday only because the coronavirus pandemic gave them time to recover from injuries. 

They are still fifth in the Premier League, two points behind Chelsea having played a game more, meaning hopes of a Champions League return are very much alive regardless of their Europa League campaign, which resumes in August. 

By all accounts, those are satisfactory truths about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side. But an emboldened attack since the January signings of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo and a stronger defensive unit have glossed over a glaring problem: they can no longer rely on David de Gea. 

Before Friday, the last league goal United had conceded – the only one they had conceded since January 22 – came in the 1-1 draw at Everton in March. With his first meaningful act of the game, De Gea dithered on the ball and let Dominic Calvert-Lewin block his kick into the United net. He was rescued by Fernandes' equaliser. 

When he was United manager, Jose Mourinho hinted De Gea could sometimes lose concentration when the action is far from his goal, and you have to wonder if he had told his Spurs players to test the Spain international – described by Roy Keane as the most overrated goalkeeper he has seen “in a long time” during a half-time tirade – at the earliest opportunity.

The home side took only their second shot on target after 27 minutes of mostly United control, but it was enough to beat De Gea. Steven Bergwijn ran straight towards Harry Maguire and left him for dead – a deeply humbling moment for the world's most expensive centre-back – and shot fiercely but directly at the United goalkeeper. He could not keep it out. 

De Gea would then make a fine one-handed save from Son Heung-min to various social media proclamations that he had "made amends", which is a goalkeeping misconception. A striker can miss a chance at 0-0 and make up for it with a breakthrough goal a minute later, but De Gea's good save did not erase the fact United were behind. Such is life for a keeper. 

Whether or not Mourinho planned for a Dea Gea error, he would certainly have accepted a 1-0 half-time lead. The fact he builds his team around Moussa Sissoko rather than Harry Kane might not enthrall the viewer, but it does make Spurs a troublesome side to break down, something United have struggled to do against deep-lying defences all season. 

That's what makes Pogba such a potentially pivotal player in their final eight matches. He came on for 27 minutes, his first action since last December, and his first act was a sliding tackle to rob Serge Aurier near the Spurs box. Put the questions on his future to one side for now; a World Cup winner who has made only eight league appearances all season just wants to play. 

With Marcus Rashford ineffective and Anthony Martial anonymous, it was Pogba and Fernandes, paired in midfield at last, who carried United's threat. Fittingly, it was their combination that brought about the equaliser, Pogba's quick feet leading Eric Dier into a cumbersome challenge and Fernandes thwacking home the penalty. 

Doubts have persisted about De Gea for the best part of two years and the debate over his future as United's number one will continue. What is certain is United need Pogba's game-changing influence if they are to make sure any future blunders at the other end do not derail their season.

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