‘I can promise that I don’t play Harry Kane one minute of any friendly match’: Jose Mourinho continues war of words with ‘Gary’ Southgate over his plans to use England captain in international break after striker netted hat-trick in Europa League win
- Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is desperate for Harry Kane to have a break
- The striker has featured five times for the north London side in the last 12 days
- Kane’s Spurs importance underlined with a Europa League treble on Thursday
- But Kane may feature in three more games from next week after England call-up
- Gareth Southgate’s side face two Nations League games after Wales friendly
The England captain will be on international duty again from next week when the Three Lions will be playing two Nations League matches following a friendly against Wales on Thursday.
But the matches come after a gruelling set of fixtures for Spurs and Kane, who has featured in five games for his side in just 12 days.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho (above) is keen for Harry Kane to get some rest
But the England captain has been selected by Gareth Southgate (above) for the international side who will play three fixtures from next week – including a friendly with Wales
The latest against Maccabi Haifa showed why he is in such high demand following a hat-trick in a 7-2 win.
After the win helped Spurs earn a place in the group stage of the Europa League, Mourinho hinted to Southgate, who he mistakenly called Gary, that he does not expect Kane to feature against Wales.
‘What I can promise to my friend Steve Holland and for Gary (sic) not to be jealous. For my friend Gary, I can promise that until the end of the season I don’t play Harry Kane one minute of any friendly match,’ Mourinho said.
‘His match was a fundamental match for us. A match that means a few million pounds and means that we are in a group phase of a competition that we have ambitions.’
Kane took the match ball on Thursday after scoring a hat-trick for Tottenham vs Maccabi Haifa
The striker’s treble in north London underlined his importance to both club and country
Kane has featured in five games for Tottenham in just the past 12 days across all competitions
Mourinho has been desperate for Spurs to bring in a striker to helped reduce the workload on his star striker, with Benfica’s Carlos Vinicius edging closer to a loan move to north London – he is expected to undergo a medical on Friday.
However the Tottenham manager remained coy on the prospect of a deal being completed.
‘No, I want you to ask me that question when it’s confirmed,’ he said when asked about the deal. ‘Nobody told me it’s done so I’m going to respect the situation, respect the player, respect Benfica and wait a little bit more.
‘Next time we see each other maybe I’m in conditions to answer.’
Tottenham’s victory in the Europa League play-off round also saw two goals from Giovani Lo Celso, while Lucas Moura and Dele Alli were also on the scoresheet.
But Mourinho is keen Kane doesn’t play a minute more than necessary while with England
Spurs are looking to ease the workload off Kane by bringing in Carlos Vinicius on loan
But it was Eric Dier, Steven Bergwijn and Toby Alderweireld who Mourinho singled out for praise, with the trio having completed their second round of 90 minutes in just three days following the Carabao Cup win over Chelsea on Tuesday.
‘What Eric Dier, Bergwijn and Toby did is not human,’ he said. ‘It’s proven, scientifically proven, every sport scientist person knows that what they did shouldn’t be done.
‘To play 180 minutes in three days shouldn’t be allowed. These three guys did it. I know that some others played also until their limit, but we managed because we have a good squad and we have a squad with different options.
‘We managed to share players in these matches and we managed to go through two knockout competitions in the Carabao and Europa League, but we could have gone out. Job done. I am really happy for the job done.’