Jose Mourinho press conference: Tottenham manager on Gedson Fernandes transfer, Eriksen will start vs Middlesbrough despite Inter link

Jose Mourinho revealed Christian Eriksen will play in Tottenham’s FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough on Tuesday, despite reports of his imminent move to Inter.

Following months of speculation over his future, Eriksen has reportedly agreed a move to Antonio Conte’s side in a deal which would see him earn £6.5million-a-year.

Christian Eriksen is set to play a part against Middlesbrough on Tuesday
Getty Images – Getty

Spurs welcome Boro to north London for the FA Cup third-round replay, having drawn 1-1 at the Riverside Stadium earlier this month.

“He plays tomorrow,” said Mourinho. “After that I have a match on Saturday and he maybe plays on Saturday again.

“I cannot tell you much more than that.”

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The Portuguese also defended the Danish playmaker for his below-par performance against Liverpool, insisting it is difficult for unsettled players to perform at their usual standard amid so much speculation.

He continued: “If you ask me if I think this is the best Christian Eriksen, I have to be honest and say no. If you ask me if I know the reasons, I am not an idiot.

Mourinho has defended Eriksen for his sub-par display against Liverpool
Getty Images – Getty

“I am in football for many years and know clearly a player in this situation is not a player that is even if he wants, I’m not blaming or criticising the player, I am just saying it is normal that a player in this situation doesn’t perform at the highest level, but I can also say that he is helping us in matches that he is playing with us.”

You can read the best bits from Mourinho’s pre-Middlesbrough press conference, below…


On Middlesbrough

“The priority this month is to win tomorrow. Difficult match, Championship teams we know what they can do. We know what Fulham did to Villa, what Leeds almost did to Arsenal, what Middlesbrough did to us.

“Difficult match and in our situation we are in our limits and incredible effort against Liverpool two days ago and players brought a level of intensity in that game they are not used to because Liverpool is really, really strong at that level and the players gave absolutely everything and to imagine those people have to play tomorrow and then Saturday again is really hard.”

On other players who could start

“Even looking to an FA Cup match, the only thing I can tell you, and maybe I’m anticipating a question that comes later is why for example Liverpool could change 10 players for an FA Cup game, I can tell you the only player who is not selected is Alderweireld.

“He is the only one I can give a rest because I have options behind. I can play with Vertonghen, Tanganga, Foyth, Sanchez. So he’s the only player that I can say ‘goodbye, take two days off’. Apart from that we are in our limits and everybody else has to go.”

On positives from Liverpool match

“The positives were a team in a very difficult situation playing as a team, playing against the best team by far in the country. For long periods of the game we were not inferior and for some periods we were the strongest team.

“A debut of a young kid from the academy, English, against people like Salah and Mane, who are obviously in the group of the top players in the world, good empathy from players and supporters, which is not easy when the season is not a good season and the result is even a defeat.

“Better levels of concentration which makes me feel that, what I’m crying for, time to work, that time to work can improve the team and the players at every level, which equals a week of good work.

“I saw the best Davinson Sanchez, the best Alderweireld, I saw the best level of focus and concentration from the players. Of course we have some limitations but we know that, but in very difficult circumstances, the game was a good game.”

On the potential signing of Gedson Fernandes

“I am waiting for news. News can come or not. I’m more worried about Middlesbrough than the market.

Even if you get a player you cannot play him in a replay. So in this moment I’m not interested in Gedson or any kind of player.”


Jose Mourinho revealed Christian Eriksen will play in Tottenham’s FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough on Tuesday, despite reports of his imminent move to Inter. Following months of speculation over his future, Eriksen has reportedly agreed a move to Antonio Conte’s side in a deal which would see him earn £6.5million-a-year. Spurs welcome Boro to north […]

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