Jose Mourinho's fear of getting "in trouble" put the Tottenham boss on the defensive regarding the subject of Eric Dier's four-game ban.

Spurs midfielder Dier was hit with the sanction, along with a £40,000 fine, by the Football Association on Wednesday after his altercation with a fan following the penalty shoot-out FA Cup defeat to Norwich City in March.

The England international climbed into the stands having been angered by the actions of a supporter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Dier was handed a misconduct charge in April and, though he denied his actions had been threatening, an independent regulatory commission found otherwise.

Asked to give his response to the punishment and whether the club would appeal, a guarded Mourinho said: "If I answer, I'm going to be in trouble and I don't want to be.

"I don't think [there will be an appeal], honestly, because if you appeal you have other risks. At least let's start next season without a suspension.

"And we all know how it works, you have access if you want to the record of appeals, successful appeals and unsuccessful appeals. I don't think so, I don't think we're going to appeal."

The suspension means Dier will be absent for all but one of Spurs' remaining five games, with Mourinho revealing a certain ambivalence towards the 26-year-old.

"I think he had a strange last season. A very strange current season," he said, admitting there was some debate over Dier's best position.

"We made a decision together, I told him immediately since my arrival, let's go together in a certain direction, but I think you are not ready.

"So, let's go back to a certain level of being a midfielder, but also with an eye to transforming to a centre-back, where he feels more comfortable.

"Even when we were working on Zoom, we were working with him, totally focused on being a centre-back, so he develops a number of skills, becomes much more adapted to that position.

"Then we decided [against] Manchester United, first match [after the resumption], we'd go with him in that position. Using this period to fight for points and objectives in relation to the table but also looking forward to the next season.

"And I think he played a very good match against Sheffield [United]. We all made a few mistakes but defensively the team was very consistent. And he was very consistent playing against some of the best strikers.

"I think he's doing very, very well, we look forward to next season, where we have no doubts that he's there as a centre back and I think an important player for us."

Jose Mourinho has told his Tottenham players that showing the right attitude is "not negotiable" as he looks to create a stronger sense of unity within the squad.

Mourinho accused his players of a lack of desire in a 3-1 Premier League loss to Sheffield United and claimed the sight of his team being beaten through a basic will to win "destroys me a little bit on the inside".

Monday's 1-0 victory over Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium included a clash between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min shortly before half-time, in which team-mates had to keep them apart, although Mourinho insisted he was "very happy" to see such a level of passion.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's game against relegation-threatened Bournemouth, the Spurs boss says he has made it clear to his players that such displays of character are essential to "winning teams".

"I always say that in winning teams, and I told the players that I can speak about winning teams because I belong to some of them, that there are things that are not negotiable," Mourinho said.

"What is not negotiable is a certain attitude, soul, DNA, character. Then you can, in a better day or not, face an opponent who makes it easier or difficult for you.

"[There is] unpredictability in football games, sometimes you deserve to win and sometimes you don't, but some things are not negotiable. Character: being demanding with yourself, with each other. Sometimes [you must] be an external source of motivation for the guy who plays in the same team as you. That leads many times to disagreement, discussion, but I think it's a really, really important thing.

"So, I was very happy with the team attitude during the game. Of course, I would prefer the little discussion to happen inside the dressing room, not outside - people can interpret [it] a different way. But I think it was a new thing in the team, a thing players do more times internally, be demanding with each other and grow up together."

Part of the problem in modern sides, according to Mourinho, is it is too easy for players to isolate themselves on social media or using games consoles even when staying at team hotels.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss is determined to improve the communication between his Spurs stars, although he insists that will not involve lectures on his part.

"If I think overall, comparing examples of my time as assistant coach, Barcelona, Porto, 25 years ago or so, the players they used to be together all the time," he said.

"No Xbox, PlayStation, social media. Quite the beginning of mobile phones. But players used to spend all the time together. Even when you go to hotels, together all the time, [it is] much easier to develop intimacy, trust, build a certain dynamic in the group.

"In a hotel, every player has his own bedroom, they go there, they are not alone, they are on Zoom, FaceTime, they are on social media 'together' playing some Xbox or PlayStation, but they don't need to share the same space. Just a society thing - the interaction is different. But probably at a personality level, you don't get same kind of communication that you had.

"We need to stimulate it all the time, not to be closed in their own shell. It's a team effort, team group, team sport - you don't play alone. A team has to be more than the sum of the individuals. You need to interact, communicate, share ideas. You need to discuss what happened in the game, need to motivate each other. I believe this; I believe there are some managers that don't do that.

"I am upset with silence. I hate the silence in a dressing room, in a meeting, I hate monologues, I don't like to be in front of the players, speaking for 20 minutes without interaction. Something I stimulate, my way of being, my way of leading. My team the other day showed me the other day they need to improve at that level."

Eric Dier has been hit with a four-game ban and a £40,000 fine after his altercation with a fan following Tottenham's FA Cup loss to Norwich City in March.

The England midfielder climbed into the stands after Spurs' penalty shoot-out loss having been angered by the actions of a supporter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Stewards intervened to separate Dier from the individual, with manager Jose Mourinho saying afterwards that his player had reacted to insults towards his younger brother.

Dier was charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA) in April.

He denied his actions had been threatening, but an independent regulatory commission found otherwise, with the FA confirming his sanction on Wednesday.

"Eric Dier has been suspended for four matches with immediate effect, fined £40,000 and warned as to his future conduct following a breach of FA Rule E3," read an FA statement.

"The Tottenham Hotspur FC player admitted that his actions at the conclusion of a fixture against Norwich City FC in the FA Cup on March 4, 2020 were improper but denied that they were also threatening.

"An independent regulatory commission subsequently found Eric Dier's actions to be threatening."

The suspension comes into immediate effect, meaning Dier will miss all but one of Spurs' remaining five Premier League games, which includes the derby against Arsenal on Sunday.

 

Real Madrid are planning to make a splash in the transfer market.

Reports claim three of Europe's finest – Kylian Mbappe, Kai Havertz and Eduardo Camavinga – are waiting to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Could it happen?

 

TOP STORY – TRIO WAITING ON LOS BLANCOS

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga are holding off contract talks as they wait for Real Madrid, according to the frontpage of Wednesday's edition of Marca.

Mbappe is highly coveted by Zinedine Zidane and Madrid, Havertz has been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, while Camavinga is reportedly a Madrid target.

However, the trio may have to wait beyond this year to make the move to the Spanish capital, though Sport Bild claims Havertz has asked to leave Leverkusen before 2020-21.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport reports Barcelona still want to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, despite his release clause expiring.

Borussia Dortmund have issued an ultimatum to United. Sport Bild claims United have been told if they want to bid for Jadon Sancho, the deal must be done by August 10. Sancho has been heavily tipped to move to Old Trafford.

Arsenal want to sign Lyon's Moussa Dembele if they lose Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, reports Foot Mercato. Lacazette has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Inter, while Barca, PSG and other clubs are reportedly interested in Aubameyang.

Inter are not David Alaba's first choice should he leave Bayern, says Sport Bild. Alaba has been linked to Madrid, Barca, PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Sevilla are leading Juventus and Inter in the pursuit of Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, says the Express.

- According to the Express, Tottenham are confident of signing Kurt Zouma from London rivals Chelsea at the end of the season.

- Could Inter be about to hijack Napoli's bid for Lille forward Victor Osimhen? The Nigeria international has been tipped to join Napoli in a €80million deal, however, Le10Sport says Inter are making a last-ditch attempt to sign Osimhen.

- Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri has handed in a transfer request as he looks to reunite with Antonio Conte at Inter, reports Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schira.

Milan are trying to hijack Inter's move for Brescia star Sandro Tonali, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Inter have been favourites to land Tonali but Ralf Rangnick – who is tipped to become Milan's head coach in 2020-21 – has reportedly made the Italy international his top target.

The on-field incident between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min during Tottenham's win over Everton showed the desire within the team to do better, according to Lucas Moura.

Captain Lloris and forward Son were involved in a disagreement as the players left the field at half-time in Monday's Premier League fixture, though the former insisted after the game there was no problem between the pair.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho described it as "beautiful" in his post-match interview following the 1-0 triumph, with Lucas insisting such occurrences are "completely normal" within most sides.

The Brazilian forward also believes the bust-up - Lloris revealed after the final whistle he had taken issue with his team-mate for failing to track back with Everton's Richarlison - is a positive sign as Tottenham aim to make a late charge to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"It's completely normal in a team," Lucas told Sky Sports when asked about the disagreement between his colleagues. "I think every team has this. 

"It shows that we want to win, we want to be in a better position. 

"We know that we can do better, we know our quality. 

"When we get angry with each other on the pitch, it's to show that we can do better." 

The narrow home victory over Everton lifted Spurs up to eighth in the table, though they still face an almighty task to climb into the top four with only five games remaining.

However, fifth place - currently occupied by Manchester United - could yet be enough to get Champions League football, depending on the verdict of Manchester City's hearing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"We still have five games to play and we still have the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League," Lucas said ahead of Thursday's trip to relegation-threatened Bournemouth.

"We know it's very, very difficult, but it's not impossible. We know, in football, anything can happen. 

"If we qualify for the Europa League, it's not our objective because we want Champions League but it is also a beautiful competition." 

Already rivals on the field, Manchester United and Manchester City might be set to clash off it.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Milan Skriniar of Inter are both reportedly wanted in Manchester.

An off-season battle may therefore be set to take place between the two foes.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED, CITY EYEING DEFENDERS

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are going head-to-head for centre-backs, according to the Independent.

United and City are both reportedly eyeing defensive reinforcements as they look to catch Premier League champions Liverpool next season.

Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly and Inter defender Milan Skriniar – also wanted by Real Madrid – have been strongly linked to the Manchester clubs.

 

ROUND-UP

Ralf Rangnick has agreed a deal to become the head coach of Milan in 2020-21, says The Guardian. Rangnick will replace Stefano Pioli, who was only appointed in October. The German is also set to hold talks about combining the coaching role with that of sporting director – a position held by Milan great Paolo Maldini.

- Qualifying for the Champions League will be the first step of any deal to bring Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho to United, reports the Evening Standard. Sancho has been linked to Liverpool, Chelsea and Madrid.

- According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Paris Saint-Germain are poised to make an €80million offer for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Ligue 1 champions, however, are wary of competition from United, Madrid and Chelsea.

Kai Havertz is aware of interest from Chelsea but the Premier League side are yet to make an offer for the Bayer Leverkusen star, claims Bild's Christian Falk. Liverpool, United, Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona have also emerged as possible destinations.

Juventus, Inter and Atletico Madrid are eyeing Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette, according to L'Equipe.

- A cross-town move? Gianluca Di Marzio says Inter are continuing to pursue Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

Nathan Ake to United? The Daily Mail claims Bournemouth could be forced to sell some of their stars as they battle to avoid relegation. The defender has previously been linked to City.

Juve are interested in Arkadiusz Milik but Napoli would prefer not to sell to their Serie A rivals, reports Calciomercato. Napoli are said to be prepared to move Milik abroad amid links to Atletico and Tottenham.

Jose Mourinho said not many managers have been fortunate to work for three of the biggest clubs in the world as the Tottenham head coach revelled in his 200th Premier League victory.

Mourinho celebrated a milestone on Monday, recording his 200th Premier League win as a manager after Spurs edged Everton 1-0 in London.

The Portuguese achieved the feat in 326 games in the English top flight, with only Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson (322) reaching that tally in fewer matches.

Mourinho won 140 Premier League games across two spells at Chelsea – where he claimed three league titles – another 50 during his time at United and Monday marked his 10th with Spurs since replacing Mauricio Pochettino.

"Not many managers work in three of the top football clubs in the country, and in the world," Mourinho told reporters post-match.

"I was lucky enough to work for three of the biggest clubs in the country. When you are at one of these big clubs it's easier to have these results."

Tottenham bounced back from their 3-1 loss to Sheffield United last time out, a 24th-minute Michael Keane own goal handing Mourinho's men a timely boost at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Spurs are eighth in the Premier League, nine points adrift of the top four and a point behind seventh-placed Arsenal with Sunday's London derby looming.

"I think the game against Arsenal will always be important because it's Arsenal," Mourinho said when asked if Tottenham's passion had come at a good time following a clash between team-mates Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min.

"My mentality is only important if we win against Bournemouth [on Thursday]. To play against Arsenal, they're our big rivals and just because we want to win our matches against our rivals that doesn't make me very, very happy.

"I want the game against Arsenal to be played as if we're playing to win something. We need to be win against Bournemouth and then we play against Arsenal. Then the game becomes big because it's Arsenal but it's big because we have then objectives on the table."

Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris and star forward Son were involved in a flare-up at half-time as the players made their way off the pitch.

The incident related to Son's failure to track back as Everton's Richarlison went close to scoring – Lloris playing down the clash post-match.

Mourinho added: "When I was arriving [to the tunnel] I just saw the back of it. I was not in there. When I arrived in dressing room everything was over and they were hugging each other.

"What happened was the last minute of the first half a Richardson shot was diagonal from right side, Hugo thought that in that minute of the game the attacking players should do a little bit more and he was arguing with Sonny and Sonny with him.

"When I arrived at half-time I just wanted the players to understand that I was very happy with that. Very happy with that. When I told them that I think they realised that nothing wrong and let's move on."

Hugo Lloris insisted there was no problem between him and Son Heung-min after the Tottenham team-mates clashed during Monday's win over Everton.

The duo were involved in a flare-up at half-time of Spurs' scrappy 1-0 triumph, which marked head coach Jose Mourinho's 200th Premier League victory.

Captain Lloris admitted the incident, which happened as the players made their way off the pitch, related to Son's failure to track back as Richarlison went close to scoring for the Toffees.

France goalkeeper Lloris suggested there was nothing serious to it, with the pair embracing at full-time.

"It just belongs to the changing room – outside you can say whatever you want," he told Sky Sports.

"What happened between me and Sonny is part of football sometimes. There's no problem. At the end of the game you could see we were more than happy.

"[It was related to] a chance [for Richarlison] a few seconds before half-time. But it's part of football – we move on."

Mourinho felt the incident, which he curiously described as "beautiful", was a manifestation of his desire to see his players be "more demanding of each other".

"It's beautiful. It's probably as a consequence of our meetings," he said.

"If you want to blame someone for that, it's me. I was critical of my boys – they were not critical enough with themselves. I asked them to be more demanding of each other.

"Son is an amazing kid, everybody likes Son but the captain told him you have to do more and give more to the team.

"It's something needed for the team to grow up – to grow up you need big personalities. When you have that reaction I had no doubts."

Michael Keane's first-half own goal proved the difference as Spurs bounced back from their 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United last time out.

The win leaves them seven points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and nine adrift of the top four in their pursuit of Champions League football and Mourinho knows his side must improve on Monday's display.

"It was not an artistic performance," he said. "Hugo didn't have to make great saves. Richarlison and [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin are a couple of the best strikers in England and we controlled them very well.

"We were speaking a lot about our attitude. The way we played against Sheffield United, someone in front who doesn't know we are fighting for a European place probably thinks we're a mid-table team.

"Today we tried to score more goals and had couple of chances with Son that could have killed the game."

Jose Mourinho recorded his 200th Premier League win as a manager with Tottenham's 1-0 victory over Everton.

A Michael Keane own goal proved enough for Spurs to claim triumph on Monday despite an uninspiring display.

Spurs produced little that will live long in the memory as Mourinho became just the fifth Premier League manager to reach the 200 mark.

The Portuguese achieved the feat in 326 games in the division, with only Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson (322) getting to that tally in fewer matches.

Mourinho won 140 top-flight games across two spells at Chelsea, with another 50 coming at United and this being his 10th league win with Spurs.

Tottenham bounced back from their defeat to Sheffield United in underwhelming fashion as a Michael Keane own goal earned a 1-0 Premier League win over Everton.

Spurs' Champions League hopes were left hanging by a thread after they slipped to a limp 3-1 defeat at Bramall Lane last time out.

Jose Mourinho's men were not much better in the more familiar confines of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday, but Keane's moment of misfortune proved enough to see off a dismal Everton side.

Captain Hugo Lloris was involved in a half-time flare-up with Son Heung-min and an unconvincing triumph that moves Tottenham within seven points of fifth-placed Manchester United will do little to improve the mood in the camp.

Tottenham struggled to break down their visitors in the opening stages but a 21st-minute effort from Lucas Moura almost brought about the opener as his 25-yard effort skimmed the left-hand post.

Just three minutes later Tottenham were ahead as Giovani Lo Celso's effort took a very fortuitous ricochet off Keane that left Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford helpless.

Despite their half-time advantage, there were clear signs of discord in the Tottenham dressing room as an argument between Lloris and Son threatened to boil over as they left the pitch.

The pair had to be separated by their team-mates and only the reflexes of Pickford prevented Son from putting further distance between Spurs and Everton after the restart, the England goalkeeper twice denying the South Korea star.

Spurs had no problem protecting their lead but the prospect of them catching in-form United with five games to play looks an extremely unlikely one.

What does it mean? Win doesn't paper over cracks for Tottenham

Tottenham may be back to winning ways, but it was a victory claimed in uninspiring fashion and the frayed tempers Lloris and Son displayed at the interval suggest all may not be well for a team clinging on to faint hopes in the race for Champions League football.

Son sparked into life

The heated exchange with Lloris did appear to have a negative impact on Son, who was the only player to offer a genuine threat of scoring in the second half.

Toffees toothless

Spurs' may have been punished for their malaise on another day, but Everton offered next to nothing, producing two shots on target that were no test for Lloris.

What's next?

Spurs travel to Bournemouth on Thursday, when Everton host Southampton.

Jose Mourinho hit back at Arsenal after they appeared to mock Tottenham following their loss to Sheffield United.

Spurs were beaten 3-1 at Bramall Lane on Thursday and Arsenal seemingly took the chance to poke fun at their rivals.

In a post on Facebook, Arsenal posted highlights of their FA Cup win at Sheffield last month with the caption: "It's not easy beating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Here's a reminder of how it's done."

Mikel Arteta's men are seventh in the Premier League, four points ahead of 10th-placed Spurs, and Mourinho slammed Arsenal for the post.

"If they were top of the league or fighting for top four and in a really good moment, they wouldn't enjoy the problems of others," the Spurs head coach said.

"You only enjoy the problems of others when you are also in trouble. I think in the end it's a little more about that. They don't have much to celebrate, so they have to take any opportunity to do it. They are in a very similar situation to us in the table.

"I don't like to connect the club with such posts or tweets because probably the person who did it did it by himself. I don't believe it was Arteta who posted it — probably it was some guy who has been working from home for three months. No problem, at home we will be waiting for them."

Tottenham face Everton on Monday before matches against Bournemouth and Arsenal.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho said he is prepared to break social-distancing rules just so he can hug Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Mourinho's struggling Tottenham will welcome Ancelotti and Everton to London for Monday's Premier League clash.

Spurs boss Mourinho heaped praise on counterpart Ancelotti ahead of the showdown – pitting ninth against 11th in the table – with the Portuguese willing to break coronavirus protocol for his love of the Everton coach.

"I think everyone in football admires Carlo [Ancelotti] as a coach and as a person," Mourinho told reporters.

"If you don't know him as a person at least you know him as a coach. I like him so much as a person that I'm going to say the obvious, which is that he is one of the top managers in the world in the last two decades and of course now.

"I think it's a privilege for the Premier League to have Carlo back. It's a privilege for Everton to have him as their manager or head coach, whatever you want to call him.

"As a person, I've had the privilege of knowing him for a few years, to stay and be with him a few times, at UEFA meetings or other different occasions and I just love Carlo.

"I think he is a fantastic guy so I think I am going to break the rule of one-metre distancing and I'm going to hug him because I like Carlo very much."

Tottenham have only won one of their past nine games across all competitions following Thursday's 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United.

Spurs – Champions League runners-up under former manager Mauricio Pochettino last season – are 12 points adrift of the top four with six matches remaining.

"I believe, but it is also possible that does not happen. And if that does not happen it is not the end of the world. If that does not happen, it is probably the beginning of a new world because things change," Mourinho added.

"Change for you, change for other clubs. The squads they change. The motivations they change, the group dynamic changes. The group that possibly was strong 10 years is ago is not strong anymore. A player that was in the maximum of his motivation is not anymore and vice-versa.

"It is also possible that we don't get into a top-six position. And if that happens of course we have to look at it not smiling, but we have to look at it with optimism and look at it with a professional profile of next season has to be different.

"Because if you analyse Tottenham for example last year, how many matches did Tottenham win away from home? When I arrived I think it was almost a year without an away victory. If it happens [finishing outside of the top six], it happens but we don't want it to happen and we are going to fight for it not to happen."

Jose Mourinho claimed the sight of Tottenham losing to Sheffield United due to a lack of desire "destroys me a little bit on the inside".

Spurs took four points from games with Manchester United and West Ham in their opening matches after the Premier League returned last month, but a 3-1 defeat at Bramall Lane this week left them ninth in the table and nine points off the top four.

After the match, Mourinho accused his players of mentally giving up after seeing a Harry Kane goal ruled out by VAR in controversial circumstances, with Lucas Moura penalised for handball in the build-up after being tripped by an opposing defender.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's game against Everton, the Spurs boss again highlighted his concerns about his players' mental fortitude.

"[From a] desire point of view, they put more in than us," he said of the loss to the Blades.

"That disturbs me. That destroys me a little bit on the inside because the last thing in football is when you feel you should do more.

"It's not a problem for me to lose because of a goalkeeper mistake or a striker missed two goals or mistakes. It's a problem for me when I feel we could do more."

When asked what will fix any perceived problems in Spurs' mindset, Mourinho replied: "Time. Only time.

"One of the most difficult things in football is exactly that: to change mentalities. It's to change the state of mind. It's to change the team's soul. It's one of the most difficult things in football.

"Sometimes, you have incredible luck to have a majority of players adapted to these needs, and some other times you have incredible players but the psychological profile is different or was built in a different direction. So, only time can do it. You have a recent example of the new champions and you know what the process to build the team is."

Mourinho also ruled out targeting specifically older players in the transfer market in order to strengthen the mentality of the group.

"In this moment, I'm not going in this direction and I don't think personalities have to do with age," he said. "There are young people with incredible mentality and there are people with a lot of experience without the right mentality. So, I don't think it's about age; it's more about a certain profile."

Dele Alli has sustained a hamstring problem but Mourinho says the injury is "nothing important" and hopes to have the midfielder available.

Jadon Sancho still wants a move to Manchester United, while Inter could be ready to buy Alexis Sanchez.

Sancho, 20, has been linked with numerous European giants after starring for Borussia Dortmund.

While he could be set for Old Trafford, United may opt to get rid of Sanchez permanently.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO STILL WANTS MAN UTD MOVE

Sancho wants a move to Manchester United but the Premier League giants must still find an agreement with Dortmund, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The England international has been linked to the likes of United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Sancho is contracted at Dortmund, where he arrived in 2017, until 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

- On loan at Inter this season, Sanchez could stay at San Siro even longer. Goal reports the Serie A giants are looking to sign the Chile international permanently from Manchester United, for a cut-price deal of €20million (£18m).

- Eric Garcia could be getting closer to a Barcelona return. Sport reports the LaLiga giants have started talks with Manchester City regarding the defender, who left Barca for the Premier League side in 2017.

- Amid uncertainty over his future, it seems Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is looking for a new deal at Arsenal, where his contract expires in 2021. ESPN reports the forward wants a minimum three-year contract worth £250,000 per week.

- Tottenham reportedly had a chance to move Tanguy Ndombele on. The Telegraph reports Spurs rejected an offer to send Ndombele to Juventus, with Aaron Ramsey heading in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, Goal says Tottenham are trying to sign Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, but are facing competition from Juve.

- Daniele De Rossi only retired earlier this year, but the former Italy international is seemingly already attracting interest to be a coach. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Fiorentina are ready to offer the former midfielder the chance to take the helm.

Jose Mourinho believes the referee on the pitch is now merely an assistant to the VAR official after Tottenham had a goal contentiously disallowed in a defeat to Sheffield United.

Harry Kane thought he had equalised for Spurs a minute after Sander Berge had opened the scoring at Bramall Lane, only for his strike to be ruled out following a VAR check.

Lucas Moura was penalised by VAR official Michael Oliver for handball, even though he was tripped onto the ball by a United player.

Spurs' misery was compounded after the interval – Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie making it 3-0 to United before Kane tucked in a late consolation, his 199th club goal.

In his post-match news conference, Mourinho revealed his concern that the referees off the pitch are now more powerful than the officials on it.

"I think I cannot say what I feel. It's not the referee anymore," Mourinho said.

"The man on the pitch is the assistant referee, The man and lady with the flags are now the assistants of the assistant referees.

"The referee should be the man on the pitch. We are going into a direction which is really bad for what is a beautiful game."

Mourinho, however, insisted his side needed to be more resilient after their stroke of bad luck – Spurs controlled much of the possession in the second half, yet hardly threatened Dean Henderson's goal until Kane scored in the final minute of normal time.

"We have to do better," Mourinho added.

"We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened in the game. We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver's decision.

"I know it's difficult to take, In the second half we had ball but we didn't have chances to change the game."

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