Jose Mourinho has clarified Dele Alli was only left out of the Tottenham squad against Sheffield United due to injury.

The absence of Alli from the matchday squad in Spurs' 3-1 away Premier League win last Sunday was another talking point in a turbulent season for the attacking midfielder.

Alli has only started one Premier League game this season and has been linked with a move away from Spurs, with Paris Saint-Germain a mooted destination.

Mourinho insisted a tendon injury was the reason Alli was left out and listed him among the injury doubts for Monday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wycombe Wanderers.

"The reason he did not play or was not selected for Sheffield is everything in relation to the injury that he has," Mourinho told reporters when asked about Alli.

"It's not an injury that will keep him out for weeks and weeks like Giovani Lo Celso.

"But is an injury that doesn't allow him to train fully with the team and like in the last couple of days, no chance for him even to train. So that's the situation for now.

"The injuries that have no doubts about playing or not playing is still Gio, who will be a couple more weeks. We have two or three players who have small injuries.

"Matt Doherty, who was not involved at Sheffield [is a doubt], Dele Alli has not been training in recent days with small problem in the tendon but not sure that he can [play], and Serge Aurier, not really well. 

"We still have three days before the match though and the only one I can say is out is Gio."

Mourinho recently praised the turnaround in midfielder Tanguy Ndombele’s Tottenham career, hailing his attitude.

But he insisted that should not have been perceived as a direct comparison with Alli ahead of what he expects to be a tough test against Championship outfit Wycombe.

Mourinho said: "I don't like to go in that direction, I was speaking specifically about Tanguy. 

"I didn't want to accept any responsibility in the change. That's the way I look at things. We are an external source of motivation. The real source is the player himself. 

"I was speaking of course in a very happy way about the Tanguy transformation and the way he is playing.

"With all the respect to Marine [in the last round], Wycombe is a different level, is a more difficult challenge. What we did well against Marine is not enough to win against Wycombe. 

"They are fully professionals, they are talented people, they have ambitions. We need more than we gave against Marine. 

"With all the professionalism the boys behaved there, but we need more because the game is going to be more difficult."

After facing Wycombe, Tottenham have a huge Premier League match at home to champions Liverpool on Thursday.

Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid is being questioned, while Paul Pogba could be set to stay at Manchester United.

Madrid were stunned by third-tier side Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, sparking fresh talk about Zidane's position at the helm.

Zidane is under fire, but the Frenchman may get more time.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE BEING QUESTIONED AS REAL MADRID BOSS

Zinedine Zidane is being questioned more than ever as Real Madrid head coach, according to AS.

The report says he will remain at the helm until the Champions League, which will resume in February, and former star forward Raul is the top candidate to replace him.

Madrid are second in LaLiga, seven points behind Atletico Madrid, who also have a game in hand.

ROUND-UP

- Pogba may be happier at Manchester United. The Daily Star reports United are increasingly confident the midfielder will see out his contract, which runs until 2022, despite interest from Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

- Christian Eriksen looks set to leave Inter, but it remains to be seen where he ends up. The Telegraph claims Leicester City have ruled out a loan move for the midfielder due to his wage demands.

- RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is set to be the subject of speculation for months to come. Goal reports Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have shown interest in the defender, who is also wanted by Bayern Munich.

- Dele Alli wants to reunite with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. 90min says the Tottenham midfielder has asked chairman Daniel Levy not to block a potential switch this month.

- Arsenal appear set to strengthen in January. Sport reports midfielder Martin Odegaard is very close to joining the Premier League club on loan from Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have reportedly agreed a deal with Bayern Munich defender David Alaba.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Alaba, 28, has been linked with Europe's biggest clubs.

And the Austria international looks set for the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – ALABA AGREES FOUR-YEAR DEAL WITH MADRID

Alaba has agreed a four-year deal with Real Madrid, according to Marca.

The Bayern defender will make the move to the LaLiga giants ahead of 2021-22, the report says.

Alaba was also linked to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Real Madrid and the news is not so good when it comes to Lucas Vazquez. AS reports the midfielder has rejected the club's first contract offer, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.

- Dele Alli is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain. The Sun reports the Tottenham midfielder is confident of getting a loan move to the Ligue 1 giants in January.

- Jesse Lingard's future at Manchester United is uncertain. ESPN reports the midfielder wants regular game time but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eager to keep him at the Premier League club. Lingard has made just three appearances in all competitions this season.

- After leaving the club in 2017, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar looks set to return to Schalke. SPORT1 reports the Ajax striker has undergone a medical ahead of a return to Schalke, who are bidding to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos' future appears no closer to being sorted.

Ramos, 34, is out of contract at the end of the season and reportedly turned down a one-year deal from Madrid.

And the Spain international's future remains uncertain.

 

TOP STORY – RAMOS, REAL MADRID NEGOTIATIONS AT A STANDSTILL

Negotiations between Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos are at a standstill, according to Le 10 Sport.

Amid the uncertainty over his future, Ramos has been linked with numerous European giants.

But Telefoot reported there had been no contact between Ramos and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

- Starting to find form again for Borussia Dortmund, Jadon Sancho is set to be the subject of transfer speculation ahead of 2021-22. But Sky Sports reports talks about a move for the reported Manchester United target are unlikely in January, with an off-season switch possible.

- PSG seem keen to land Dele Alli in January. Fabrizio Romano claims the midfielder is pushing to join the Ligue 1 giants on loan and Mauricio Pochettino's PSG will not give up on a deal.

- Milan appear set to add depth to their squad. The Serie A leaders have agreed a deal with former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, according to CalcioMercato.

- Staying at Milan and they are also reportedly set to land Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea. Romano says Tomori is set to join on loan with an option to buy for €30million (£26.7m).

Jose Mourinho has hinted Dele Alli might not be doing enough to turn around his situation at Tottenham.

England international Alli has been confined to the margins of Mourinho's squad this season, with only one of his four Premier League appearances coming as a starter.

Those top-flight outings total a meagre 74 minutes overall and, although he has been a more frequent fixture in midweek cup line-ups, reports that the 24-year-old is unhappy hardly come as a surprise.

A reunion with former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain has been touted, although Mourinho insisted having disgruntled players in a dressing room is a fact of life for any coach.

However, when distinguishing between unhappy players who "work, work, work and work" and others who think such toil is "not his job", he tellingly did not specify a category for Alli.

"In every dressing room are unhappy players," he told reporters ahead of Sunday's match against the Premier League's bottom club, Sheffield United.

"For sure. If any one of us, of my tribe, tells you that in his dressing room are only happy players, I don't think it's true. Or somebody is so, so lucky to have a miracle in his hands.

"Then you can have [an] unhappy professional and the unhappy professional is the one that is unhappy but feels that his duty is to work, work, work and work.

"And there is the unhappy [player] that believes that it’s not his job to fight and to work every minute for the squad and for the club."

Nevertheless, Mourinho suggested he would probably be reluctant to let Alli leave if Spurs are unable to source a replacement during this transfer window.

"The question is if I let Dele go without getting a player in exchange and I'm not going to answer that," he said.

"It’s not a question that I am comfortable to answer. Of course, I would know how to answer.

"But I am not ready to answer. I am not ready to make public my vision of the situation."

Dayot Upamecano is set to leave RB Leipzig – but not just yet – while Eric Garcia is getting closer to joining Barcelona.

Upamecano has been linked with several European giants after impressing for the Bundesliga club.

But the defender looks set to stay at the Red Bull Arena until the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – UPAMECANO SET FOR €42M MOVE

Leipzig are not considering selling Upamecano in January even though he can leave for £37.4million (€42m) at the end of the season, according to The Guardian.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have each been linked with a move for the France international.

Upamecano has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Garcia is seemingly getting closer to a Barcelona move. Sport reports the Manchester City defender is a step away from joining the Catalan giants on a five-year deal and Barca are hopeful a move can happen in January.

- Coming out of contract at the end of the season, Hakan Calhanoglu's future has been a talking point. Sky Sport reports negotiations are ongoing between Milan and the midfielder, who has been linked to United.

- Mauricio Pochettino seems eager to get Dele Alli to Paris Saint-Germain. The Guardian reports the Tottenham midfielder is PSG's main target this transfer window.

- Arkadiusz Milik is set to leave Napoli. CalcioMercato reports Marseille want the striker and had an offer of €8m rejected.

- With Frank Lampard under pressure, Chelsea were reportedly considering bringing back Avram Grant to support the head coach. However, The Sun reports the Premier League giants are not lining up such a move.

Frank Lampard's position as Chelsea head coach is under threat, while Tottenham have started talks to extend Harry Kane's deal.

Lampard is under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge after just one win in their past six Premier League games.

Sunday's 3-1 loss to Manchester City has only put further pressure on the Chelsea boss.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD'S POSITION AS CHELSEA BOSS UNDER THREAT

Lampard's job as Chelsea head coach is under serious threat, according to The Athletic.

The report says the Premier League club, who are eighth in the table, have started looking at replacements.

Lampard took charge of Chelsea in July 2019, but they sit seven points behind Liverpool and Manchester United – who have both played one game fewer – despite spending heavily in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- Kane's impressive form for Tottenham has seen him linked with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The Independent reports Spurs have started talks with the forward, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, over a contract extension, even though his current deal runs until 2024.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined with long-term injuries, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. But The Athletic reports the Premier League champions are not considering a move for Lille defender Sven Botman.

- Struggling for game time at Tottenham, Dele Alli is linked with a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. Foot Mercato reports Pochettino has spoken with Alli, who is open to a move.

- Staying at PSG and Sky Sports reports the Ligue 1 giants are in negotiations with Everton to sign Moise Kean on a permanent deal worth around €34.6million (£31m). Kean has scored nine goals in 16 games in all competitions on loan at PSG.

- Samuel Umtiti's Barcelona future is uncertain. Todofichajes reports Nice have a strong interest in the defender on an initial loan deal.

- Patrick Bamford has scored 10 Premier League goals this season and the Leeds United forward is out of contract next year. The Sun reports Leeds are set to reward the 27-year-old with a lucrative new deal.

Mauricio Pochettino is back in management. Over a year after leaving Tottenham, the Argentine coach has landed one of Europe's biggest jobs.

Paris Saint-Germain appointed Pochettino as Thomas Tuchel's replacement on Saturday, and the new boss is sure to have ideas about players he would like to join him.

PSG have been hit by a run of injuries this season, with Neymar currently sidelined with an ankle problem.

Their owners are no strangers to big-money purchases, though the coronavirus pandemic has made all of Europe's big clubs take stock and rein in their spending.

But who could be the likely candidates to join PSG under Pochettino?

Christian Eriksen

Eriksen played some stellar stuff at Tottenham under Pochettino. Indeed, in 191 Premier League appearances during the Argentinian's tenure, the former Ajax prodigy scored 43 times and provided 53 assists.

A set-piece specialist, it is somewhat surprising that only six of Eriksen's goals came directly from free-kicks, from 99 attempts.

He created 493 chances, with 64 of these counting as big opportunities, while he averaged a goal every 370 minutes and hit the woodwork on 17 occasions.

However, even in the latter days of Pochettino's time at Spurs, Eriksen was making noises about wanting to leave and, with six months remaining on his deal, he was sold to Inter last January.

It is a move which has far from paid off, and Eriksen has made just 12 Serie A starts for Antonio Conte's team. In December, Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed the Denmark international had been placed on the transfer list.

"I can confirm that Christian Eriksen is on the transfer list," Marotta told Sky Sport Italy. "He's going to leave in January. He's not functional to our plans and he had difficulty here at Inter. I think it's right that Christian goes away to find more space."

PSG had been tentatively linked with him prior to Pochettino's arrival, and a reunion with his former manager could be just the tonic for Eriksen.

Dele Alli

Another player who had been mooted as a target for PSG is Eriksen's former Spurs team-mate Alli.

Having signed from MK Dons in 2015, Alli transformed into a Premier League sensation and England regular under Pochettino's guidance.

He made 123 league starts for Pochettino, averaging a goal every 243 minutes, scoring 44 times in total and creating 203 chances, including 29 assists.

Despite a bright start under Pochettino's replacement Jose Mourinho, Alli has been out in the cold this season, starting just one league game – on the opening weekend, in a defeat to Everton – and scoring just two goals, both of them coming in the Europa League.

With a place in England's squad for next year's European Championship looking doubtful, Alli may well be on the move next month, and linking up with Pochettino would surely help revive his career.

Alli said in 2017 that he saw the coach as a father figure.

Lionel Messi

Former Espanyol defender and manager Pochettino recalled in 2018 that Messi was agonisingly close to joining Barcelona's cross-city rivals in 2005, only for a suggested loan move to break down.

Messi has gone on to win six Ballons d'Or, 34 major trophies and even surpass Pele's haul of 643 goals at a single club, as well as set countless other records.

Pochettino has made no secret of a desire to work with his compatriot. At PSG, the stars may finally align.

Messi reluctantly elected to stay at Barca for this season and see out the remainder of his contract, but he is set to become a free agent at the end of the campaign, assuming the new president cannot persuade him to sign a new deal.

Any deal would be far from cheap, but with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on board, the lure of Paris and Pochettino could be decisive for Messi.

A Blaugrana legend, Messi could lead PSG's push for Champions League glory and prove he is far from close to the end of his career – much like the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo has done at Juventus, albeit without a European crown so far.

A front three of Neymar, Mbappe and Messi would set Europe alight, and perhaps finally earn Pochettino the success his work has deserved.

Lionel Messi's future has been the subject of much speculation but a reunion with Pep Guardiola is still very much in Manchester City's plans.

Messi has been disgruntled with his situation at Barcelona since the end of last season, despite head coach Ronald Koeman's insistence that his superstar captain is happy.

Four-time Champions League winner Messi unsuccessfully tried to force an exit in August, however there will be no legal clauses to stop him when his contract expires in June 2021.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTED ON FIVE-YEAR DEAL

The City Football Group (CFG) is eyeing a 2021 swoop that will see Lionel Messi split time between their Premier League powerhouse Manchester City and MLS franchise New York City, according to the Telegraph.

A five-year contract could be offered to superstar Barcelona captain Messi, which includes three years in England, taking the six-time Ballon d'Or winner to the age of 37, followed by an additional two more in the United States.

In an interview with Spanish TV channel La Sexta, Messi admitted his desire to one day play in the United States, a hint that City's proposal may be on his mind.

Kylian Mbappe's potential move to Real Madrid from Paris Saint-Germain is in doubt.

Mbappe, 22, has been heavily linked with a switch to Madrid after starring for PSG, where he is contracted until 2022.

But with Thomas Tuchel reportedly sacked as coach, Mbappe moving to the Spanish capital may be unlikely.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE'S MOVE TO MADRID IN DOUBT

Mbappe's move to Real Madrid from PSG is in doubt after Tuchel's reported sacking, according to AS.

The departure of Tuchel, who is expected to be replaced by Mauricio Pochettino, adds another obstacle to Madrid's bid to land the France international next year, the report says.

Mbappe has scored 14 goals in 18 games for PSG this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- The expected arrival of Pochettino could lead to signings for PSG. The Sun reports the former Tottenham boss is set to make out-of-favour Spurs playmaker Dele Alli his first transfer target.

- PSG are seemingly considering their creative options. CalcioMercato says the Ligue 1 giants may target Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.

- Antonio Rudiger is linked with a move from Chelsea. However, Bild reports the defender will wait until after matches against Arsenal and Aston Villa to make a decision on his future.

- With Kieran Trippier banned, Atletico Madrid are looking at their options. The Daily Mail reports the LaLiga outfit are considering a loan move for Arsenal right-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Jose Mourinho was again critical of Dele Alli and confirmed Gareth Bale suffered another injury setback in Tottenham's 3-1 EFL Cup quarter-final win at Stoke City.

Bale cleverly headed home a third goal of his second spell with Spurs to put them in front in a one-sided first half at the bet365 Stadium on Wednesday.

The Wales captain was then replaced by Son Heung-min at half-time, with Mourinho revealing he had asked to be withdrawn due to a calf problem.

Jordan Thompson equalised with the Championship side's first shot eight minutes into the second half, but a rasping long-range drive from Ben Davies and Harry Kane's 16th goal of the season put Spurs into the last four.

Alli, who has fallen out of favour under Mourinho, twice went close to scoring in the first half and was not impressed when Mourinho took him off after 66 minutes.

Two of Alli's three shots were well saved by a busy Andy Lonergan and he also contested a game-high 19 duels, as well as drawing more fouls (five) than any other player.

Yet Mourinho made it clear he was not happy with a flick from the attacking midfielder that did not come off before Thompson levelled from out of the blue.

"Yes, for me a player that plays in that position is a player that has to link and create and not to create problems for his own team," Mourinho said of Alli, who started in an advanced role behind Kane.

"In that situation, an objective counter-attack would probably end with a goal, and it ended with a counter-attack behind our defenders.

"We were unbalanced because when you are in possession you have full-backs out wide and another midfielder in a different line and they caught us in a counter-attack and they transformed the result of the game that was totally in our hands, so yes I am upset."

Eyebrows were raised when Bale did not return for the second half, but Mourinho said he made the change at the request of the on-loan forward.

"Yeah, it was his decision," said the Tottenham boss. "Something he felt in the last part of the first half and he didn't want to come out for the second half.

"While he was walking to the dressing room he told me immediately that he couldn't come out for the second half.

"Something I think with his calf. I'm not sure as at that time I just want to reorganise the team and make the change."

Barcelona may face competition from Paris Saint-Germain for Memphis Depay.

Depay, 26, has been heavily linked with a move to the LaLiga giants, where his former Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman is in charge.

But his impressive displays for Lyon have unsurprisingly caught the eye of their Ligue 1 rivals.

 

TOP STORY – PSG INTERESTED IN BARCELONA TARGET DEPAY

PSG are interested in Lyon star and Barcelona target Depay, according to Le Parisien.

The report says Depay is appreciated by PSG's players, particularly stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Depay, who has scored six goals in 14 games for Lyon this season, is out of contract at the end of the campaign.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at PSG and they could seemingly also compete for the signature of another Lyon star. RMC Sport reports PSG are still interested in midfielder Houssem Aouar, who has been heavily linked to Arsenal.

- Isco's future looks to be away from Real Madrid. Marca claims the LaLiga giants are pushing the midfielder, who is contracted until 2022, out amid links to Arsenal and Everton.

- Everton are also linked to Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli. The Daily Star reports they are ready to make a loan move for Alli – who has struggled for game time this season – in January.

- After being thrashed by Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund sacked coach Lucien Favre. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Bundesliga club already have an agreement in principle with Borussia Monchengladbach boss Marco Rose to take over ahead of 2021-22.

- Papu Gomez's Atalanta career appears to be over. Sky Sport reports the attacker, who has been at the club since 2014, could leave in January amid a tense relationship with coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

Juventus are planning their move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

Pogba's future is again a major talking point after his agent, Mino Raiola, said the France international wanted to leave Old Trafford.

A return to Juve has been touted, and the Serie A champions are seemingly ready to make it happen.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS HOPING FOR POGBA LOAN DEAL

Juventus want Pogba to return to the club from Manchester United on loan next month, according to the Mirror.

The report says the move would include an obligation to buy Pogba, who is contracted until 2022, ahead of next season.

Pogba joined United from Juve for a reported £89million (€105m) fee in 2016.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are still eyeing Georginio Wijnaldum. Mundo Deportivo reports Ronald Koeman wants the Liverpool midfielder, who is out of contract at season's end, but a deal in January appears too difficult.

- Also set to become a free agent is Bayern Munich defender David Alaba. Marca reports Real Madrid are strongly considering the Austria international, who wants to join the LaLiga giants.

- Struggling for game time at Tottenham, Dele Alli looks set for an exit. The Telegraph reports the midfielder will be allowed to leave in January, with Paris Saint-Germain said to be interested.

- Oleksandr Zinchenko is also battling for minutes at Manchester City. The Daily Star reports Wolves are ready to renew their interest in the defender.

Erling Haaland will reportedly cost a suitor €75million next year, while Dele Alli could be set for a Tottenham exit.

Haaland is linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund after dominating with the Bundesliga giants.

And the 20-year-old could be available for an affordable fee next year.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND AVAILABLE FOR €75M NEXT YEAR

Haaland can leave Dortmund for €75m next year, according to Esport3.

Real Madrid have been most heavily linked with a move for the forward, while Manchester United and Liverpool are also credited with interest.

Haaland, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury, has scored 33 goals in 32 games since arriving at Dortmund from Salzburg in January.

 

ROUND-UP

- Struggling for game time at Tottenham, Dele Alli could make a move in January. The Daily Mail reports Paris Saint-Germain are set to make another loan bid for Alli next month. Alli has played just 67 Premier League minutes this season.

- Amid inconsistent form and with injury worries, Barcelona may also be looking to strengthen in January. Sport reports Eric Garcia wants to join the club from Manchester City but may have to wait until the club's presidential election, which is due to be held on January 24. Garcia and Lyon star Memphis Depay feature on the cover of Mundo Deportivo, which says Ronald Koeman wants signings in January for Barca, who are ninth in LaLiga.

- Manchester United are considering their defensive options. The Manchester Evening News reports United are huge admirers of Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White, who is among their options alongside Real Madrid's Raphael Varane and RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano.

- A player who could exit Manchester United is Marcos Rojo. The Sheffield Star reports Sheffield United are interested in the defender.

Jose Mourinho can understand why Dele Alli was unhappy at not being used in Tottenham's 2-0 win over Royal Antwerp and has defended Harry Winks for heading down the tunnel after being substituted.

Winks was one of nine new faces in Tottenham's starting line-up from last weekend's win over Arsenal but lasted just an hour before being replaced by Moussa Sissoko, two minutes after Carlos Vinicius had opened the scoring.

Whereas Vinicius and Gareth Bale headed for the bench, Winks made his way past Mourinho and straight to the dressing room area.

But Mourinho says he gave the 24-year-old, who has started 10 games in all competition this term, permission to go and get changed

"I told him to go, I told every player that left the pitch to go because when the weather is cold I prefer they go to the dressing room and have a shower," he said at his post-match news conference. 

"I told them to go, though some prefer to stay. Winks decided to go and I am happy with that because I am the one that told him to do it."

Mourinho made all five of his substitutions before the 70-minute mark, though Alli - surprisingly omitted from the much-changed XI - was not one of those introduced.

The midfielder was seen leaving the bench before coming back and Mourinho accepts it is not possible to keep every player in his squad pleased.

"Let's not run away from reality," he said. "A player on the bench who realises all five subs have been used of course is not a happy player and I would not expect him to be happy.

"But, again, every player that is on the bench or every player that leaves the pitch in cold weather, with me, they can go to the dressing room and I even prefer if that happens."

Tottenham and Antwerp had already sealed a place in the last 32 of the competition but top spot was on the line in Thursday's clash.

Mourinho turned to star attacking duo Son Heung-min and Harry Kane for the final half an hour, the latter playing in Giovani Lo Celso for the second goal.

Asked to explain why he felt the need to bring on Son and Kane, Mourinho said: "The thinking was to win the match, a match that we were always in control despite them not creating any chance that I remember.

"The game was still open and to play 30 minutes is not an accumulation of fatigue. To play 30 minutes is less than 90 minutes, 100 minutes training session so it was not a problem at all.

"I decided at 1-0 to bring fresh people and to bring people who could give a last kick in the story of the game and it was game over when Gio score the second goal."

Tottenham have now recorded six successive home wins in all competitions for the first time in two years and will be among the seeded teams for Monday's draw in Nyon.

And with his side also top of the Premier League with 11 matches played, perennial trophy winner Mourinho has another piece of major silverware in his sights.

"As I say every week we focus on the next match," he said. "If the next match is Europa League, Europa League is important, if the next match is cup, the cup is important, if the next match is Premier League, the Premier League is important.

"We play every match to win, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't do it. But the intention is always to be positive.

"Today we got an objective which is not a fundamental objective because the difference between finishing first and second in the draw is not a massive difference but it maybe helps and we did our job by winning the match."

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