Christian Eriksen

Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Mourinho gives update on Eriksen saga, Kane replacement

Leave a comment

Christian Eriksen is, for all intents and purposes, finished with Tottenham Hotspur.

[ MORE: Ashley Young leaves Man United to join Inter Milan ]

Whether or not the Danish playmaker leaves Tottenham this month or in the summer, his mind appears to be 100 percent made up, with Inter Milan his overwhelmingly likely destination. He wants to move in January, but that would require Inter to agree a transfer fee with Spurs, which is proving somewhat difficult at the moment. Not the least of which is because the Serie A side is yet to actually make an offer, according to Spurs manager Jose Mourinho — quotes from the BBC:

“You have to ask the agent and Inter because they know more than me. If they are confident it is because they are ready to make us an offer, which didn’t happen yet.”

“When I see people speaking, especially people with responsibilities, it makes me surprised. He is trying to do his best, and it is normal until Jan. 31 his brain is not totally focused. It is a normal consequence of the situation. For a few matches people are saying he is playing his last game. Eriksen plays tomorrow.

As for the rest of the squad and other areas of need, Mourinho stated very clearly (once again) his desire to acquire another forward in the wake of Harry Kane’s hamstring injury which will keep the England international out of action until April.

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

It would appear that Mourinho has worked his magic on chairman Daniel Levy after initially stating there would be no deals done in January due to the club’s current financial situation. Alas, $55 million was found to sign Gedson Fernandes (following an 18-month loan period) earlier this week, and now Mourinho seems to believe there is additional cash to sign a center forward.

Love him or hate him, Mourinho sure does have an uncanny way of getting exactly what he wants, no matter where he works.

Premier League Preview: Watford v. Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League Preview: Watford v. Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League Preview: Watford v. Tottenham Hotspur
Leave a comment

Watford begins a run of three matches in five days with a visit from Tottenham Hotspur to Vicarage Road on Saturday (Watch Live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The resurgent Hornets have climbed out of the Bottom Three under new boss Nigel Pearson. The challenge now comes in the form of a postponed FA Cup replay means they face Spurs, Aston Villa, and Tranmere Rovers by Thursday.

And if the Hornets beat Tranmere, they host Manchester United three days later.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

“The planning’s done for the week,” Pearson said. “But outside of that we’ve got to also be prepared for variables we don’t know about at the minute and that would be potential injuries and anything else and it makes it even clearer that I’m not going to send the strongest side to play Tranmere.”

Spurs will welcome any advantage, as Jose Mourinho’s side is winless in three league matches and played a replay with Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Tottenham has dropped nine points back of the Top Four and four back of fifth place Manchester United. The club is waiting on several transfer issues, including wantaway Christian Eriksen and the absence of suitable fill-in for injured Harry Kane.

Mourinho said there’s been no offer yet from Inter Milan for Christian Eriksen, and that Giovani Lo Celso‘s loan will likely be made permanent.

How Mourinho uses new loanee Gedson Fernandes will be interesting, as the Portuguese midfielder may start for his countryman.


Injuries/suspensions

Watford: OUT — Tom Cleverley, Kiko Femenia, Danny Welbeck. QUESTIONABLE — Will Hughes.

Spurs: OUT — Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane. QUESTIONABLE — Ben Davies, Tanguy Ndombele, Hugo Lloris


Probable lineups

Watford: Foster, Masina, Cathcart, Dawson, Mariappa, Capoue, Chalobah, Deulofeu, Doucoure, Sarr, Deeney.

Spurs: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose, Aurier, Winks, Fernandes, Son, Lucas, Dele.


What they’re saying

Nigel Pearson on the Tranmere postponement: “To get up there and find their kit man hadn’t bothered setting out their kit because he knew it would be off is a bit of a frustration for us because we travelled up and a lot of our fans had got to Northampton by the time that they found out, so it is a frustration and it adds on to what’s already a hectic week next week.”

Jose Mourinho on loan signing Gedson Fernandes: “He’s a kid that can play different positions in midfielder, even wide on the right if we need. We got him for his multi-functionality. He’s what I used to call a special loan. He’s not a three month loan and goodbyes. One-and-a-half year loan when he’ll have time to develop, and who knows if he doesn’t stay here for a number of years.”


Prediction

Spurs get a bit of relief and Watford a mild reality check in a 1-0 decision.

FOLLOW LIVE: FA Cup sees Tottenham, Newcastle in replay action

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tottenham hosts Championship side Middlesbrough while Newcastle welcomes Rochdale to Tyneside as the FA Cup third round replays take the field.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Spurs have given another start to 20-year-old center-back Japhet Tanganga as Toby Alderweireld again sits on the bench. Tanganga was handed his Premier League debut in the 1-0 loss to Liverpool, performing well in his first opportunity with the senior squad. Christian Eriksen, amid fresh links to Inter Milan, also starts alongside Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso. Lucas Moura leads the lines in the absence of Harry Kane.

Middlesbrough also has a debutant, with 21-year-old academy product Ben Liddle starting in midfield. Liddle is the son of former Middlesbrough and Darlington defender Craig Liddle who was caretaker manager of Middlesbrough in 2017. Middlesbrough sits 16th in the Championship table and managed to draw Spurs 1-1 last time out at Riverside Stadium.

For Newcastle, there is good news as injured pair Matt Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles both return to the starting lineup after significant spells on the bench. Ritchie has not played since August thanks to a long-term ankle injury, while club captain Lascelles makes his first appearance since early November when he sustained a knee injury. Miguel Almiron starts as the Paraguayan looks to continue his new-found good form, while American full-back DeAndre Yedlin is still out with an injured hand suffered on New Year’s Day.

Newcastle was held by Rochdale in a 1-1 draw that saw Almiron score early but Rochdale grabbed an equalizer 11 minutes from full-time.

All games on Tuesday kick at 2:45 p.m. ET except the Spurs v. Middlesbrough game which begins at 3:05 p.m. ET.

Watford’s FA Cup replay with Tranmere Rovers was postponed due to bad weather and poor pitch conditions.

Full FA Cup Tuesday schedule

Tottenham Hotspur v. Middlesbrough
Newcastle United v. Rochdale
Blackpool v. Reading
Coventry City v. Bristol Rovers
Shrewsbury Town v. Bristol City

Report: Inter still chasing January deal for Eriksen

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Christian Eriksen can be had for a free transfer this summer, but according to a report by The Mirror, Italian side Inter Milan is hoping to secure his services earlier in a deal they are hoping will benefit all parties enough to force a deal through.

According to Mirror journalist John Cross, Inter has approached Eriksen with a four-and-a-half-year deal worth double his current wages, a value of around $208,000 per week. They have also offered Tottenham Hotspur a $26 million transfer fee hoping to secure a January deal.

Inter is motivated by the fact that Eriksen would likely command a far higher wage should he be allowed to reach the end of his Spurs deal this summer, with clubs often willing to pay far higher wages for top players that are available on a free transfer. They also would get a jump on other clubs hoping to sign Eriksen this summer given his full availability as a free agent.

Inter is also locked in a title race this season, and the boost an in-form Eriksen could provide would couple nicely with the club’s league-best defensive showing. Sitting two points behind Juventus at the top of the Serie A table, Inter has a serious chance to break the years-long stranglehold Juve currently possesses on the Italian top flight.

An in-form Eriksen is also not a given, however. With just two goals and two assists in Premier League play, Eriksen has been mired in a season-long slump at Spurs, although debate rages as to the root cause of his struggles. The length of his dip in form has caused some to believe he is beginning to permanently decline, although still at just 27 years old, many argue he is simply frustrated by his contract situation at Tottenham and is playing out his current deal hoping for a new opportunity.

Spurs will not want to lose the Dane before the end of the season given the hefty injury list manager Jose Mourinho currently faces, but the cash offer will be enticing given the prospect of losing Eriksen for nothing in the summer. Tottenham sits eighth in the Premier League table, and while the nine-point gap to the Champions League places is daunting, Spurs could still make a charge with yet half the season remaining, so selling top players midseason remains a daunting thought.

Mourinho: ‘Not the best’ Eriksen; Spurs stretched to limits

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jose Mourinho has admitted that the situation surrounding Christian Eriksen and his new contract is impacting the Danish playmaker.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Eriksen, 27, is out of contract this summer and put in another subpar display as he was jeered off the pitch when substituted in Spurs’ 1-0 defeat against Liverpool on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of their FA Cup third round replay against Middlesbrough on Tuesday, in which Eriksen will start, Mourinho delivered his thoughts on Eriksen’s poor form.

“If you ask me if I think this is the best Christian Eriksen, I have to be honest and say no,” Eriksen said. “If you ask me the reasons, I am not an idiot, I know clearly a player in his situation is not a player, even if he wants… I am not blaming the player, I am not criticizing the player it is normal that a player in this situation doesn’t perform at the highest level. I can also say he is helping us in matches he is playing with us. He had positive performances and contributions, the game against Olympiakos which was fundamental for us to qualify and we were 2-0 down. The same against Norwich. I also think the same that you probably think, I also probably think what the fans think about the game. He didn’t have a very good performance against Liverpool, I have to agree with that.”

Mourinho was then asked further about Eriksen and he confirmed he knew what would happen when it comes to his future, but wouldn’t say anything else.

Is this public shaming by Mourinho the final shove out of the door that Eriksen was waiting for?

With Spurs losing him in the summer for nothing, unless he has a miraculous turnaround and signs a new deal, then should they cut their losses and let him leave now?

Eriksen’s representatives are said to be in talks with Inter Milan over a four-and-a-half year deal, as he can now speak to non-UK clubs about arriving in the summer a la Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal last January. However, it is believed both Eriksen and Inter want to seal the move in January but why would the latter pay big money to sign him this month when they can get him for free in a few months time?

Inter are pushing to win the Serie A title, so that is why, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has previously been unwilling to show much of a soft spot for any players wanting to leave Tottenham on their own terms. Maybe Eriksen’s poor displays all season long will change his mind on this one, as his departure could open up a spot for a new player to arrive in January.

With Tottenham nine points off the top four, is Champions League qualification now possible?

“Mathematically yes. Of course the distance is important,” Mourinho said. “We don’t need just to win matches, we need opponents to lose matches. We know we are not powerful enough to believe we are going to win every match. We are not powerful enough to be competing in three different competitions. It is a really difficult situation for us. Mathematically it is possible. I prefer to look match after match.”

As for their FA Cup replay against second-tier Middlesbrough (the winner will travel to in-form Southampton in the next round), Mourinho admitted that his squad are being stretched to their limits and only one player will be rested.

“The only player that is not selected is [Toby] Alderweireld. He is the only one I can give a rest to and say take two days off,” Mourinho said.

As for additions, he had no update on Gedson Fernandes, who is expected to sign on an initial 18-month loan from Benfica with an option to buy.

“I am waiting for news, when I say I am waiting, news can come or not,” Mourinho said, coyly. “I am more worried about Middlesbrough than the market. In this moment I am not interested in Gedson or other players who can come.”

He needs additions in midfield and attack and Eriksen, and maybe Vertonghen, to move on as soon as possible as Mourinho’s Spurs are in a slump.

You wouldn’t put it past him to mastermind an FA Cup trophy win or a deep run in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds this season, but at this point a top four finish seems highly likely.