Mourinho made public on Friday his and the club’s desire to bring in a forward to complement talisman Harry Kane.
Rather than looking for a back-up option, though, the coach said he wanted a player who “isn’t just to support us but to play with Harry”.
Later asked if Spurs were seeking a striker in his prime who could potentially displace Kane, Mourinho pondered why Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool could have several world-class options while his team relied solely on the England captain.
“I said before I don’t like the ‘back-up’ situation,” Mourinho told reporters. “I also don’t like the profile of player who doesn’t want to come to us.
“You look to all the other top clubs and they have many options at centre-forward and that question doesn’t appear. I don’t want managers to misinterpret my words.
“But, for example, [Timo] Werner went to Chelsea and Chelsea have [Tammy] Abraham and [Olivier] Giroud, Man City have [Sergio] Aguero and [Gabriel] Jesus, Liverpool have [Roberto] Firmino, [Divock] Origi, [Mohamed] Salah can play there, too, [Sadio] Mane.
“It looks like it’s only with us that we don’t have the right to have a more balanced squad with more options.
“If you change the direction from the striker position to midfield, we have [Harry] Winks, we have [Moussa] Sissoko, we have [Tanguy] Ndombele. They didn’t ask me, ‘Am I a back-up or am I going there to play?’
“It’s up to you, mate. Players decide who plays. It’s not me – players decide who plays.
“I know that we have the best striker in this country – there is no doubt about it – but the striker that comes here has to have his own ambitions. If he doesn’t have ambitions, he doesn’t belong to us.”
Thanks for the support this season. Not achieved what we wanted to and know we can be better. Time for a break with the family and some golf. pic.twitter.com/z9ijToLJxk
— Harry Kane (@HKane) July 26, 2020
Mourinho explained he would not be looking to convince any potential recruit to come and support Kane, instead preferring the player to back himself to earn his manager’s support.
“The point is not me convincing the striker, it’s the striker convincing me,” he said.
“If the striker is afraid of coming to Tottenham and the striker is afraid of competition then I don’t want the striker. It’s not for me to convince him, it’s for him to convince me.
“If he says he doesn’t want to go because he doesn’t want to be in a squad where we have Harry Kane, Sonny [Son Heung-min], [Erik] Lamela, Lucas [Moura], ‘I don’t want to go to that squad’, then goodbye.”
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