Spurs: Jose Mourinho previews Fulham clash
Jose Mourinho had a swift response when it came to discussing the possible arrival of Stuttgart winger Nicolas Gonzalez but did speak in detail about the future of three talented Spurs midfielders. Hugely respected journalist David Ornstein, of the Athletic, claimed Spurs and Juventus had held discussions about the 22-year-old, stressing the talks were at a preliminary stage.
Gonzalez joined Stuttgart from Argentinos Juniors in 2018 and after a slow start to life in Germany, as the club were relegated, impressed in the second tier last season.
The Argentinian averaged more than a goal a game in Bundesliga 2, as he found the net 14 times in 27 appearances, despite often playing on the left and right wing as well as centre forward.
Gonzalez, who was also a target of Leeds United in the summer, has continued that form into the 2020/21 campaign, with five goals and two assists in ten outings back in the Bundesliga.
Ornstein claims there is no release clause in Gonzalez’s contract and that Stuttgart would now be looking for around £27 million for the versatile forward.
Mourinho was asked if there had been discussions about Gonzalez moving to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during his press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
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But he responded in swift fashion: “Discussions with who? Not with me.”
Mourinho was also asked about the future of several current Spurs players in his pre-match press conference ahead of the rearranged fixture with Fulham.
One of those was Harry Winks, who has been involved in less than half of Tottenham’s Premier League fixtures this season.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague had claimed Valencia were set to make a second loan offer for Winks, who has admitted he is worried his lack of game time could result in him missing out on next summer’s European Championships with England.
But after starting the last two Premier League matches, Mourinho has told potential suitors to stay away from the 24-year-old.
Mourinho said: “What do I have to say to stop with this talk? I said already, he’s going nowhere. He’s going nowhere. So when I say he’s going nowhere, what more do you want me to say?
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“He’s played the last matches. He didn’t play the last one, it was a decision to let other players play like Gedson and players that are not basically playing many minutes. “Tomorrow’s he’s selected again. And if somebody is speaking with other clubs, my advice is don’t lose your time, don’t lose your time because he’s going nowhere.”
Spurs have another highly-rated midfielder player currently out on loan.
Oliver Skipp is due to spend the 2020/21 season at Norwich City and with the 20-year-old starting in every match this season and the Canaries top of the table, Mourinho is in no rush to bring him back.
Mourinho said: “In a selfish perspective it would be good to bring him back now, but we’re not selfish.
“The players are very important. The future is very important and the best thing for him is to finish the season there.
“It has been a very successful loan for us and also for Norwich. We’re very happy that he’s playing and he’s playing well. He’s playing to win and to win titles so he has that pressure on him too.
“He’s playing two or three matches a week so there’s also a physical development.
“Next season he’s back, but we believe that for this season we think it’s best for him to stay at Norwich and he’s also very happy with that.”
One player who could move in January is Gedson Fernandes.
The 22-year-old joined Tottenham in January last year on an 18-month loan, with the option of a permanent move for more than £40m.
However, the Portugal international has not played a single minute in the Premier League this season and has been on the bench just twice, with his only competitive outings coming in the EFL Cup and FA Cup.
And Benfica are considering ending Fernandes’ loan move early, rather than him spending another six months on the sidelines.
When asked about his future, Mourinho replied: “I don’t know. If he stays I’m happy. Again, from a selfish point of view I’m very happy if he stays because he’s a good player and when we need him we know that we have some quality coming from him.
“Of course it’s a pity that he can’t be in the Europa League list. We’ve played nine matches already in the Europa League. I would imagine that playing in the Europa League would be a much happier situation for him.
“But looking at it selfishly I would like him to stay but again we are not selfish and we think of the players. In this case we also think about the father club, so we have just to wait.”
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