José Mourinho Rules Out Striker Arrival & Offers Updates on Potential Departures
José Mourinho has ruled out Tottenham bringing in a striker on transfer deadline day, while also discussing the futures of Oliver Skipp, Troy Parrott and Victor Wanyama.
Spurs have been linked with a host of forwards this window in a bid to soften the blow of Harry Kane’s injury, with the striker not due to return to action until April at the earliest after undergoing surgery on a hamstring problem.
The likes of Willian José, Krzysztof Piątek and Olivier Giroud have all been linked with a move to north London this window, with Spurs scrambling to secure a striker in their bid to secure a top four spot in the Premier League, as well as challenging for the Champions League and FA Cup.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s visit of Manchester City, Mourinho cooled talk that a striker would be brought in before Friday evening’s deadline, but offering the slightest glimmer of hope that something may occur.
“I am not expecting. The market is open so anything can happen but I’m not expecting,” he said (via football.london).
“I’m happy [with the squad] but the next question will be: ‘And a striker?’, I have to answer yes, it would be better with a striker. Yes, we would need a striker to have a better squad to face the great challenges in front of us in three different competitions.”
Despite this, Mourinho confessed he would have ideally liked to bring a striker in, stating that Spurs’ task for the rest of the season has been made significantly harder, although the club would refuse to adopt a desperate approach with a long-term goal in mind.
Mourinho on Spurs transfers: “I’m not expecting any players. The market is open though. I’m happy [with my squad[ but I have to answer yes it would be better with a striker. Yes we would need a striker to have a better squad to face the challenges ahead.”
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“I cannot hide. If I say it’s an easy situation to play three competitions without a striker, I’m going to lie and I cannot lie. It’s important for us but if it’s not possible for us, it’s not possible,” he admitted.
“It’s important that we are all together on this. We don’t want just a striker to be helpful now, we want a striker who would be good for us and good for our future.”
In terms of outgoings, Mourinho added that he doesn’t expect Parrot or Skipp to leave the club temporarily this month, with the former expected to play some part given Kane’s absence. Meanwhile, talks with Celtic over a loan reunion for Victor Wanyama are taking place, with Mourinho admitting he doesn’t see the Kenyan in his future plans.
“I don’t know [if he will leave], at this moment no. At this moment we don’t have any offers, we don’t have Victor knocking on our door asking for understanding in a situation to leave,” he revealed. “In my eyes I see more the team going to the future with young Winks, English, young, national team player. I see more the team going in that direction.”
He did, however, insist that if he does stay then he will be involved in his thinking for the rest of the season.
Speaking on one of the club’s January acquisitions, Mourinho stressed that Steven Bergwijn will not be deployed as a central striker, but insisted he is excited to work with the Dutchman.
He said on the forward: “He is an attacking option, of course he’s not a striker, he’s a player that likes to play from the sides, at PSV more from the left, for the national team more from the right. He’s not a player to resolve the problems of today, because our future is not today or tomorrow, it’s long-term.
“Steve Bergwijn – I prefer to say Stevie – is the kind of player that is good for now but also good for our future, the direction we want to go. With the difficulties of the market in January, it was really hard to find the striker that is good not just to resolve the problems of today but also the future of the team. So probably we’re not going to do it.”