Mourinho reignites feud with Conte over Eriksen

Christian Eriksen has agreed to join Inter Milan in the summer
Christian Eriksen has reportedly agreed to join Inter Milan

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has reignited his feud with Antonio Conte after he discussed Christian Eriksen, who has been linked with Inter Milan.

The Dane will be out of contract in the summer with reports stating he is set to move to the Serie A club.

“I think Antonio. He has said publicly [about Eriksen],” Mourinho said.

“I think we coaches should all behave in the same way in relation to transfers. I think we should always be closed, until something happens.”

Deal of the day

The Spurs boss added: “So when you ask me about player A, B or C, like when I was asked about three players, how can I speak about three players that are not my players?

“I think we should always be protective. Nothing, nothing. When I see people with responsibilities, speaking about Eriksen…

“I think we shouldn’t speak about players from other clubs until they become our players.”

Speaking to the Italian media, Inter coach Conte had said: “Eriksen? We have to go to people who have already had a career, who are at the end of their contracts.”

Spurs have not received a transfer bid for Eriksen and the midfielder will play against Watford on Saturday, according to Mourinho.

The two managers had a tense relationship when Mourinho was in charge of Manchester United and Conte was Chelsea boss.

It began during the 2017-18 season, reaching a peak when Mourinho said he would never be “suspended for match-fixing”, referring to Conte’s four-month ban for failing to report alleged match-fixing when he managed Juventus, having previously labelled him a “clown”.

Conte, in response, called his counterpart “a little man”.

Mourinho ‘trying to add players to squad’

Spurs will be without England striker Harry Kane, who is ruled out until April with a hamstring injury that requires surgery.

Mourinho says the club need to sign a replacement this month if the right target becomes available.

“Lots of names are coming and the majority of them are coming by players’ entourages, agents, people that want to put players’ names in the market,” added the 56-year-old.

“Do we need a striker? Yes – if possible, yes. But it has to be a positive situation for us.”

Mourinho says Tottenham still have attacking options in the shape of Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela, Giovani lo Celso and Dele Alli.

“Of course they’re very good, but we miss that target man,” he said.

“We are doing everything possible. It’s not easy but we’re trying to add players to the squad.”

Tottenham have already brought in midfielder Gedson Fernandes on loan from Benfica for 18 months – with an option to buy at the end of that period – and could also turn Lo Celso’s loan from Real Betis into a permanent move.

The Premier League club can buy Argentine Lo Celso for £27.2m during this window, a price that will rise to an obligatory £34m in the summer.

“I think Giovani is going to stay with us,” said Mourinho.

“There are some loans where you have the opportunity to be in control of the situation, like is happening with Gedson.

“There are some emergency loans and there are other loans where the objective is to be in control of the future of the player without any need of further negotiations.”