Does a Premier League switch beckon for Raphael Varane?

Varane has starred for Real Madrid, winning LaLiga and Champions League titles.

But Varane could be sacrificed in the Spanish capital, with Chelsea reportedly interested.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA FRONTRUNNERS FOR VARANE

Chelsea are ahead of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Varane has been linked with a move away from Madrid, who are looking to raise funds as they target PSG star Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

United have reportedly emerged as strong suitors but Chelsea are believed to be at the front of the queue to land the France international.

 

ROUND-UP

- Goal, Sport1 and other outlets report Bayern Munich have opened talks with RB Leipzig to hire head coach Julian Nagelsmann. With Hansi Flick set to depart at season's end, Nagelsmann is wanted in Munich.

Jose Mourinho is ready to return to Inter should Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte exit, claims Calciomercato. Conte is poised to lead Inter to their first Scudetto since 2009-10, when Mourinho oversaw a treble, but the former Italy coach's future is far from certain. Mourinho is available after he was sacked by Tottenham.

- According to Gol Digital, Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

Roma are targeting Maurizio Sarri as their next head coach, says Corriere dello Sport. Paulo Fonseca is currently at the helm but he is under pressure in the Italian capital. Roma have reportedly already met with ex-Chelsea, Juventus and Napoli coach Sarri to discuss finer details.

Milan have given star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma one month to decide on a contract extension, reports Tuttosport. Donnarumma is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and the Italy international is yet to re-sign. The likes of United, Chelsea, Juventus, PSG and Madrid have been linked. Milan are reportedly eyeing Lille's Mike Maignan as a possible replacement.

- Bild claims Arsenal are lining up a move for Dortmund's Julian Brandt as a replacement for loanee Martin Odegaard, who is attracting interest from elsewhere. Brandt could be one of many Dortmund players to leave in the off-season as clubs circle Haaland, including Manchester City, Liverpool, Barcelona, United, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern.

Tottenham interim head coach Ryan Mason has praised his side for their come-from-behind 2-1 win over Southampton following a tumultuous week for the club.

Mason stepped in as Spurs coach for the first time following Jose Mourinho's sacking earlier this week.

Mourinho's dismissal combined with Tottenham's role in the European Super League has created a turbulent week for Spurs but the players responded against the Saints.

"Tonight was important for many things, the change in manager, a lot has gone on at the club in the last 48 hours and it was important to get back to winning ways," 29-year-old Mason told Sky Sports.

"The performance and energy were outstanding."

Tottenham hailed trailed after Danny Ings' goal on the half hour but Gareth Bale levelled on the hour.

Spurs had a Son Heung-Min goal disallowed before the South Korean converted a late penalty for the winner.

"They had so much energy and bravery, especially after the first 20 to 30 minutes," Mason said.

"Southampton came out of the blocks - they were good. We showed belief and stuck to the plan so full credit because the energy and commitment was great.

"The momentum was with us in the second half. We gained full control of the game.

"We created chances, the VAR decision to disallow the goal was disappointing but the guys kept going, kept believing and I felt the right team won."

Gareth Bale sent a message to former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho after Wednesday's 2-1 win over Southampton, suggesting he should have put more emphasis on attacking.

Mourinho was sacked by Spurs on Monday with their Champions League hopes fading and was replaced until the end of the season by Ryan Mason.

Against the backdrop of European Super League controversy, which also affected Spurs, Mourinho's dismissal was effectively overshadowed.

But with the controversial competition crumbling on Tuesday, the attention was back on Spurs' football the following day and Mason – who became the Premier League's youngest manager in history (29 years, 312 days) – began with a victory.

It may not have been a classic, with a late Son Heung-min penalty securing the points, but the win moved Spurs back to within two points of the top four.

Bale was willing to offer an opinion on what Spurs had to improve on following Mourinho's dismissal, backing up reports the players had been frustrated by the Portuguese's negative tactics.

"Maybe just to be on the front foot a bit more," Bale told Sky Sports. "We want to attack.

"We're a big team, we have great players and we need to attack more and stay higher up the pitch and I think we did that today."

Spurs' first-half display against Saints left a lot to be desired, but they improved in the second period.

Bale put their slow start down to the upheaval rather than distraction caused by the Super League.

"Us as players, all we have been focusing on is trying to get the new manager to settle in, the matter [the Super League] is closed as far as I'm concerned," he added. "It's not happening, so we're all good. We can carry on as normal."

As for adjusting to Mason, he said: "[We] just have to be patient. [There were] positional issues as a team, we've only had a couple of days to work on that, so just minor teething issues.

"We'll continue to improve for the cup final at the weekend."

That final will see Spurs go up against Manchester City in the EFL Cup, the last competition they won in 2008.

Son Heung-min scored a late penalty to ensure Ryan Mason's first match as Tottenham caretaker manager ended in a 2-1 win over Southampton, boosting their top four hopes in the absence of Harry Kane.

Spurs' build-up to Wednesday's game was hardly ideal given the loss of Kane to injury before Mourinho was sacked amid the backdrop of the European Super League controversy, but Mason – who became the Premier League's youngest-ever manager (29 years, 312 days) – saw his team recover following a rocky start.

Seemingly a result of Kane's absence, Spurs failed to get a single shot on target in the first half for the first time this season, with Southampton – who went ahead through Danny Ings – good value for their lead.

Gareth Bale's equaliser sparked Spurs into life and, despite the disappointment of having a Son strike disallowed, the South Korean subsequently converted an 88th-minute spot-kick to give Mason's men a boost ahead of Sunday's EFL Cup final with Manchester City.

Jose Mourinho has been out of work less than 48 hours but speculation of his next job is already mounting.

The Portuguese has already declared he is "ready to go again", despite a sizeable pay-out from Tottenham.

Tottenham sacked Mourinho on Monday with Spurs sitting seventh in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO ENTERS CELTIC COACHING RACE

Mourinho is in the mix to be the new coach of Scottish powerhouse Celtic according to The Sun.

Former Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe is the favourite to be appointed Neil Lennon's replacement at Celtic Park.

But 'The Special One' is in contention, despite his hefty wage demands and line of suitors.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich's David Alaba has agreed a five-year deal with Real Madrid with the contract to be signed in the coming weeks according to Sky Sports.

- Departing Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has been offered a two-year contract by Barcelona according to TyC Sports.

- Football Insider reports Aston Villa may enter the race for Jesse Lingard who has enjoyed a super loan spell at West Ham United from Manchester United.

- Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is wanted by Spanish LaLiga club Real Betis claims The Sun.

- Julian Draxler is ready to leave PSG with a return to his homeland to join Bayern Munich his preference reports Foot Mercato.

David Trezeguet believes Jose Mourinho would have been all too aware of the risks about managing Tottenham.

Mourinho was sacked on Monday after 17 months in the role, just six days before Spurs face Manchester City in the EFL Cup final.

Wayne Rooney was among the prominent football figures to question the timing of the move, calling it "crazy".

But former Monaco, Juventus and France star Trezeguet believes no manager can afford to go on a poor run in the modern game, regardless of whether they have got close to silverware.

He pointed to how Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Spurs shortly after reaching a Champions League final as evidence that Mourinho would not be given extended time by chairman Daniel Levy.

Spurs are seventh in the Premier League going into their home match against Southampton on Wednesday, with their Champions League qualification hopes looking slim after losing 10 of their 32 top-flight matches.

Trezeguet told Stats Perform News: "He who manages a big club knows very well that at the end of the day the results are the most important. 

"[The sacking of] Mourinho proved it on Monday. He had a young squad full of talent and yet, he was sacked. 

"Sometimes owners, board members and others talk a lot about [long-term] plans.

"But the reality check, which managers know very well, is that if you lose five or 10 games with such a squad, you are to be sacked. 

"I am very doubtful when I hear so many talking about [building long-term] projects without results. 

"Results are pivotal, look at Pochettino after having reached a Champions League final - they sacked him the season after. 

"It happened the same at PSG [with Thomas Tuchel who reached the Champions League final] or Juventus with Maurizio Sarri, who had even won the title in Italy."

Ryan Mason has been handed the role of interim head coach until the end of the season following Mourinho's dismissal. 

Tottenham are one of six English clubs who have announced their intention to join the controversial European Super League, a development that has somewhat overshadowed their managerial change.

Ryan Mason has been handed the role of interim head coach at Tottenham until the end of the season following Jose Mourinho's dismissal. 

Spurs sacked Mourinho on Monday six days before the EFL Cup final against Manchester City, with their Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

Mason took first-team training after that move and will now lead the team for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign.

The first game for Mason will see seventh-placed Tottenham host Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Mason will be assisted by Chris Powell and Nigel Gibbs, with Ledley King continuing as a first-team assistant and Michel Vorm as his goalkeeping coach.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy talked up the quality of the club's squad after Mason's appointment was confirmed on Tuesday.

"We have great belief in this squad of talented players," he said. 

"We have a cup final and six Premier League games ahead of us and we shall now focus all our energies on achieving a strong finish to the season."

Tottenham are one of six English clubs who have announced their intention to join the controversial European Super League, a development that has overshadowed their decision to sack Mourinho.

Mason, 29, was a Spurs player for eight years after coming through the club's youth system.

He later joined Hull City but suffered a fractured skull in January 2017 that eventually forced him to retire, prompting his early move into coaching with Spurs in 2018.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min took to social media to pay tribute to Jose Mourinho, who insists he does not need a break from football after his sacking from Tottenham.

Mourinho was appointed as Mauricio Pochettino's successor in November 2019 but was dismissed on Monday with Spurs having slumped to seventh in the Premier League and seen their chances of qualifying for Champions League diminished further by their Europa League exit.

The timing of his sacking may seem a little strange just six days out from the EFL Cup final but Daniel Levy has opted to yield the axe with Mourinho failing to oversee a full campaign in charge.

Influential striker Kane and star forward Son flourished under Mourinho, striking up a fearsome partnership. Between them they contributed 74 goals and 41 assists in all competitions under the Portuguese.

Posting on Twitter, Kane wrote: "Thank you for everything Boss. A pleasure to have worked together. I wish you all the best for your next chapter."

Son added on an Instagram post: "I have no words to describe how I'm feeling, it's been a pleasure to work with you, I'm sorry things didn't work out and truly grateful for the time we've had together. 

"Good luck and all the best for the future."

Mourinho has now been sacked in each of his last three jobs, having also been dismissed in his second spell at Chelsea, and by Manchester United.

Since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, the season he was sacked by Chelsea, Mourinho has a Premier League win percentage of 48.5 and an average of 1.71 points per game.

Prior to that, up to the end of the 2014-15 season – when Mourinho won the Premier League for a third time in his second spell at the Blues – he had a win percentage of 69.4 and accrued an average of 2.29 points per game in the top flight.

But the ex-Real Madrid and Inter boss is adamant he does not need an extended break from the game.

In a brief interview with Sky Sports, he said: "You know me, I'm not going to speak.

"[There is] no need for breaks. I'm always in football."

Tottenham should have kept Jose Mourinho in charge for the EFL Cup final as he knows how to set up a team to play against Manchester City, says Wayne Rooney.

The day after confirming their involvement in the 12-club breakaway European Super League, Spurs announced the departure of Mourinho after less than 18 months in charge.

A 2-2 draw away at Everton last week further damaged Tottenham's hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League, while they were knocked out of the Europa League after failing to hold on to a 2-0 first-leg lead against Dinamo Zagreb at the last-16 stage.

However, they do have the possibility of securing silverware on Sunday when they take on City at Wembley, making the timing of Mourinho's departure a surprise to Rooney.

"I think it's crazy doing it before a cup final - strange timing anyway," the Derby County boss told the media.

"Surely they could have waited until after the cup final if that's the direction they wanted to go in? Jose is a fantastic manager, one of the best managers the game has seen.

"Unfortunately, his time has come to an end at Tottenham, but I'm sure he will bounce back. There will be a lot of top clubs out there looking to bring him in."

Rooney worked with Mourinho during his final season as a Manchester United player, including making a brief cameo appearance off the bench in the Europa League final win over Ajax in 2017.

The former England international feels the Portuguese coach could have helped Spurs produce an upset against City, who saw their hopes of a quadruple ended at the weekend when they exited the FA Cup with a semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

"I just think before a cup final, Mourinho is a manager who loves to win trophies, it's clear to see, he's won a lot of trophies throughout his career," Rooney continued.

"I think if there was one manager to set a team up to play against [Manchester] City, in a cup final, it's Jose Mourinho.

"Now, obviously, Tottenham haven't had the best of seasons, so I think from that point of view, I think it's a bit crazy and is a massive risk.

"I'm sure Daniel Levy could have waited until the day after the game because I think that would have made more sense if they wanted to get rid of Mourinho."

Mourinho had replaced Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs during the previous campaign, steering them to a sixth-placed finish in the league.

Rooney expects the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss to be in demand around the world, despite his latest ill-fated spell in charge of a club.

"I'm sure there are a lot of teams in England who would love to see him managing their clubs," he said on Mourinho's future. 

"So, that's purely up to him if he wants to go into another club in England. I'm sure there are a lot of clubs around the world who would love to have him."

Tottenham's Jose Mourinho gamble has not paid off and once again Spurs find themselves at a crossroads with their next managerial appointment.

Installing Mourinho as boss, even with his astounding list of achievements, appeared a slightly bemusing decision considering the complete contrast between his pragmatic style and the more high-intensity football played by predecessor Mauricio Pochettino.

There were plenty of signs of promise, not least the 6-1 hammering of Mourinho's former employers Manchester United at Old Trafford in the infancy of a Premier League campaign that offered early promise of a title tilt.

But a run to the EFL Cup final has not done enough to assuage Spurs' hierarchy, who have decided to pull the trigger after a slump in form has left Tottenham seventh in the table, out of the Europa League and in serious jeopardy of missing out on Champions League football again.

So, 17 months after his appointment, Mourinho has been sacked. Here, we look at the potential candidates to replace the Portuguese.

JULIAN NAGELSMANN

Is there a more in-demand young coach in world football than RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann right now? Hansi Flick dropped a huge bombshell on the world of football when he announced on Saturday that he intends to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season, with the German national team likely to be his next venture. Nagelsmann is thought to be Bayern's top target but reports in Germany suggest Leipzig will attempt to resist such a move, given it would considerably strengthen a rival. The 33-year-old has long-been linked to Tottenham, and the decision to wield the axe on Mourinho may have been prompted by Flick's announcement and the need to act fast to land a top target.

BRENDAN RODGERS

Another man whose name has been heavily linked with Tottenham is Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers, one of the most revered coaches in the Premier League. After falling agonisingly short of leading Liverpool to the Premier League title in the 2013-14 campaign, Rodgers departed Anfield in October 2015 and went on to enjoy an excellent period of success at Celtic. He has since turned Leicester into Champions League contenders over the past two seasons, playing an exciting brand of football at the same time. A potential stumbling block may be the fact his contract runs until 2025 but many believe Daniel Levy sees Rodgers as the man to lead Tottenham.

MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI

Massimiliano Allegri is a name that crops up pretty much any time a vacancy becomes available at a big club across Europe, and it is not hard to see why. The Italian won five straight Serie A titles with Juventus, also lifting the Coppa Italia on four occasions during that golden period. With a top-flight title to his name during his time at Milan also on his resume, Allegri has proven to be a serial winner in the past. With the 53-year-old out of work, Allegri would provide a cheaper solution than others. His compatriot Maurizio Sarri, a Europa League winner with Chelsea, has also been touted – he too led Juventus to Serie A glory before being replaced by Andrea Pirlo ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

LEDLEY KING/RYAN MASON

It seems unlikely, but Spurs may decide to appoint from within. One option would be to instil former captain Ledley King, who made 268 Premier League appearances for Tottenham. Upon his retirement, King took up an ambassadorial role at the club and was appointed to Mourinho's coaching staff as first team assistant last August. Another who provides an internal option is Ryan Mason, who has been asked to take first-team training. The former England midfielder was forced to retire at the age of 26 after fracturing his skull and has been working in Tottenham's academy coaching set up.

GERRARD, BENITEZ AND OTHER OUTSIDERS

Even the best laid plans can go to waste and should luring Nagelsmann or Rodgers not come to fruition, several other interesting candidates have been mooted. Chief among them is Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, who has cut his managerial teeth at Rangers and ended Celtic's dominance in Scotland by leading the club to Scottish Premiership glory this season, while a 2-0 win over their Old Firm rivals on Sunday kept them in the hunt for Scottish Cup glory. Rafael Benitez, the man who Gerrard lifted the Champions League under at Liverpool, is another interesting name said to be in the running. The Spaniard has plenty of experience in England having managed the Reds, Chelsea and Newcastle United and is out of work having left Chinese side Dalian Professional back in January. Fulham boss Scott Parker, a former Tottenham midfielder, and ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe have also been suggested as potential alternatives.

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Tottenham with their Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

Mourinho was appointed by Spurs in November 2019 as the replacement for Mauricio Pochettino on a contract until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

But he has not managed to preside over a full season, with chairman Daniel Levy ending the Portuguese head coach's tenure prematurely on Monday.

Mourinho's backroom team of Joao Sacramento, Nuno Santos, Carlos Lalin and Giovanni Cerra have also been relieved of their duties, with Ryan Mason taking first-team training on Monday.

Levy, said: "Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club. Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic.

"On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged. He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution."

A 2-2 Premier League draw at Everton on Friday left the London club in seventh place with six matches to go and looking unlikely to seal a place in the top four.

Spurs have won just one of their last six games across all competitions, the most damning result in that sequence arguably being a 3-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League round of 16.

Dinamo were beaten 2-0 in the first leg, but stormed back to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Cracks had started to show away from the pitch as well in recent weeks, Mourinho drawing attention to himself with numerous comments relating to Spurs' performances.

Nevertheless, the timing of his exit will be questioned, with the club set to face Manchester City in the EFL Cup final on Sunday.

The news comes a day after Tottenham were revealed to among the 12 clubs who have agreed to join a controversial new breakaway European Super League.

Spurs could only finish sixth in the Premier League under Mourinho last term.

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Tottenham with their Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

Mourinho was appointed by Spurs in November 2019 as the replacement for Mauricio Pochettino on a contract until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

But he has not managed to preside over a full season, with chairman Daniel Levy ending the Portuguese head coach's tenure prematurely on Monday.

Mourinho's backroom team of Joao Sacramento, Nuno Santos, Carlos Lalin and Giovanni Cerra have also been relieved of their duties, with Ryan Mason taking first-team training on Monday.

Levy, said: "Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club. Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic.

"On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged. He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution."

A 2-2 Premier League draw at Everton on Friday left the London club in seventh place with six matches to go and looking unlikely to seal a place in the top four.

Spurs have won just one of their last six games across all competitions, the most damning result in that sequence arguably being a 3-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League round of 16.

Dinamo were beaten 2-0 in the first leg, but stormed back to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Cracks had started to show away from the pitch as well in recent weeks, Mourinho drawing attention to himself with numerous comments relating to Spurs' performances.

Nevertheless, the timing of his exit will be questioned, with the club set to face Manchester City in the EFL Cup final on Sunday.

The news comes a day after Tottenham were revealed to among the 12 clubs who have agreed to join a controversial new breakaway European Super League.

Spurs could only finish sixth in the Premier League under Mourinho last term.

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah.

Jose Mourinho on borrowed time

Tottenham Hotspur has been struggling in the Premier League and there is speculation Jose Mourinho’s days at the club are numbered. Their 20/21 season has been atrocious and looks likely to miss out on Champions League qualification for a second consecutive season, having previously played in the competition four times in a row.

With six games left in the Premier League, Spurs are five points off fourth-placed West Ham. The team’s decline has been evident after its 3-1 defeat at home to Liverpool on January 28. They have lost seven of the following 14 Premier League games after that, they won five matches and drew two, conceding 21 goals, one less than they scored.

To make matters worse, Mourinho’s side exited the FA Cup in the fifth round with defeat at Everton and then collapsed in Croatia throwing away a 2-0 first-leg lead to lose 3-2 on aggregate at Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League.

What is clear is that Mourinho is failing to get the best out of his players. When asked about his team’s poor run his response, “Same coach, different players”, suggests that there is also discontent in the dressing room.

Paul Pogba, who was Mourinho’s world-record marquee signing following his 2016 appointment at Old Trafford accused the former Manchester United manager of casting players, including himself, aside without explanation.

Former English footballer Danny Mills claimed that Jose Mourinho is preoccupied with protecting Tottenham’s backline and it has affected his selection decisions farther up the pitch.

 “Mourinho has continued to chop and change his centre-back partnerships over the last few months, with all of Tottenham’s centre-halves being guilty of some poor mistakes at the back,” Mills opined.

As of now, it seems the Special One is not that special anymore.

 

Time for Harry Kane to win a Premier League title

Despite Tottenham Hotspur’s woes Harry Kane continues to stand out for his club. He is currently the leading goal scorer for the Premier League but is yet to win a title. He’s now scored 20 or more league goals in five different seasons, a feat accomplished only by Alan Shearer, Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry.

 Despite his productivity, it is unlikely that Kane will win a title at Spurs. They are not going to make the Champions League next season and nobody knows for sure what the future holds.

At age 28, Kane must make the move before it is too late. There will be clubs interested in signing him including the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City, both good options.

  Manchester United needs a Europa League win

Manchester United is set to face Roma and is favourite to win the Europa League given the quality of their opponents and their form at this point in the season. United beat Granada 2-0 at Old Trafford on Thursday to complete a 4-0 aggregate success and set up a semi-final against Roma, who edged Ajax 3-2 on aggregate and are outsiders to lift the trophy.

United have not lifted silverware since 2017 but can end that drought if they are successful in the Europa League this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to make it fifth-time lucky after United fell short in four semi-finals across last season and this.

United beat Ajax in the 2017-final in Sweden and to many, they are a better side now than they were then and have shown consistently this season that they have what it takes this season to beat some of the top teams in Europe.

Jose Mourinho says he "couldn't care less" about Paul Pogba's assessment of their relationship towards the end of his time at Manchester United.

Mourinho was dismissed by United midway through the 2018-19 season after two-and-a-half years in charge.

His relationship with members of United's squad was said to have deteriorated, with an apparent training ground argument with Pogba coming after the midfielder was stripped of his vice-captaincy role in September 2018.

Speaking ahead of United's game against Burnley on Sunday, Pogba suggested current Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a better man-management style than Mourinho.

"What I have now with Ole is different, he wouldn't go against the players," Pogba told Sky Sports. "He wouldn't go against the players.

"Maybe Ole wouldn't pick them, but it's not like he puts them on the side like they don't exist anymore. That's the difference between Mourinho and Ole.

"Once I had a great relationship with Mourinho, everybody saw that, and the next day you don't know what happened. That's the strange thing I had with Mourinho and I cannot explain to you because even I don't know."

Pogba's comments were put to Mourinho after his side's 2-2 Premier League draw with Everton on Friday – a result that leaves them five points adrift of the top four having also played a game more than all of their rivals.

The Portuguese coach told Sky Sports: "I would like to say I couldn't care less with what he says, I couldn't care less. I'm not interested at all."

Harry Kane scored twice as Spurs secured a point at Goodison Park, though the England international was unable to finish the game due to an ankle injury.

Jose Mourinho is trying to be "optimistic" about the injury Harry Kane suffered towards the end of Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Everton on Friday but accepts it is too early to know its severity.

Kane was in lethal form for Spurs at Goodison Park, as he has been for much of the season, as he scored both goals for Mourinho's side.

The England captain's first effort saw him reach 20 Premier League goals in a season for the fifth time, a record bettered by only Alan Shearer (seven) and Sergio Aguero (six).

His second – the goal that secured Spurs a point – was his 12th in as many games against Everton in all competitions and it moved him above Robbie Fowler into seventh in the Premier League's all-time top scorers' list with 164.

But he was unable to finish the match, as Richarlison fell on Kane's ankle in second-half stoppage time and the collision forced him off.

With just nine days to go until Spurs are in EFL Cup final action against Manchester City, it is a nightmare scenario for Tottenham and Mourinho.

After the match, Mourinho tried to put on a brave face but could not offer much certainty.

When it was put to him by Sky Sports that Spurs fans would be anxious, Mourinho said: "Me too but I think it's too early to say something.

"For him to leave the pitch at 2-2 with only a few minutes to go, it's obviously because he felt something, but let me be optimistic and believe that he has time to recover.

"Let me be optimistic and believe it's nothing serious. It's obvious he's a very important player for us, but I cannot say much or speculate."

England manager Gareth Southgate was also in attendance and will surely monitor Kane's situation closely with the delayed Euro 2020 less than two months away.

The draw on Merseyside leaves Spurs five points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham, who play their game in hand against struggling Newcastle United on Saturday.

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