The war of words continues.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has responded to England manager Gareth Southgate’s comments over the treatment of star striker Harry Kane.
Mourinho and Southgate have been embroiled in a war of words of late after numerous Premier League managers have raised concerns surrounding the welfare of their players ahead of the international window.
The beginning of the 2020/21 season has been very congested for some clubs who have had to contend with matches in the Premier League, League Cup and qualifying matches for European competition.
In Tottenham’s case, they played their third match in five days as they overcame Maccabi Haifa on Thursday night to secure their place in the group stages of the Europa League – the draw of which took place this afternoon.
Mourinho previously stated that he hopes Southgate and the England coaches will “respect” the Tottenham players.
Southgate responded to this by saying Mourinho never contacted him directly to make his feelings known.
“He won’t phone, but he will stand on top of Tottenham’s stadium and tell us,” Southgate joked this week.
Now, Mourinho has had a little pop back by saying that Kane’s involvement against Maccabi Haifa was a crucial game for his side and he jokingly promised Southgate that he won’t play Kane in any friendlies in what is a little dig at England’s upcoming fixtures which includes a friendly against Wales.
Mourinho also referred to Gareth Southgate as ‘Gary’ in his comments.
Jose Mourinho: I promise Gareth Southgate I won’t play Harry Kane in a friendly
“His match was a fundamental match for us. A match that means a few million pounds and means that we are in a group phase of a competition that we have ambitions,” Mourinho said.
“What I can promise to my friend Steve Holland and for Gary [Gareth Southgate] not to be jealous, for my friend Gary, I can promise that until the end of the season I don’t play Harry Kane one minute of any friendly match.”
England take on Wales in a friendly on Thursday before back-to-back Nations League matches against Belgium and Denmark.