Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho does not want to sign a striker who is afraid to compete with Harry Kane.
Mourinho is confident his club will land a new frontman as he desperately tries to add reinforcements to his attacking line.
Spurs were stung last season when they could not bring in cover for Kane, who suffered a serious hamstring injury, and their problems intensified when Son Heung-min also got injured.
Jose Mourinho on signing a striker: “I want to make it very, very clear that the club knows that I need a striker and they also want a striker. Are we going to get one? I believe so, I honestly believe so.” #THFC#COYS
— Jonathan Veal (@jonathandveal83) September 11, 2020
One of the narratives around their lack of ability to sign a striker in recent years is that no prospective arrival will be willing to sit on the bench and watch Kane play.
But Mourinho says that is not a mindset he is willing to entertain.
“The point is not me convincing the striker, it’s the striker convincing me,” the Portuguese said. “And if the striker is afraid to come to Tottenham and the striker is afraid of competition then I don’t want the striker.
“So it’s not for me to convince him, it’s for him to convince me. If he says I don’t want to go because I don’t want to be in a squad where we have Harry Kane and Sonny, (Erik) Lamela, Lucas (Moura), I don’t want to go to that squad then goodbye.
“If you change the direction from the striker position to midfield – we have (Harry) Winks, (Moussa) Sissoko, (Tanguy) Ndombele … (Summer signing Pierre-Emile) Hojbjerg didn’t ask me, ‘Am I back-up or I am I going there to play?’ It’s up to you, mate.
“Players decide who plays, it’s not me. It’s players who decide who plays.
“So a striker to come here… I know that we have the best striker in this country, there is no doubts about it, but the striker that comes here has to come with his own ambitions.
“If he doesn’t have ambitions, he doesn’t belong to us.”
Spurs have been linked with a number of players, both at home and abroad, with Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik one of the strongest rumoured to be on their shopping list.
Mourinho knows his club are not going to make headline signings but ones to help balance the squad.
New season. New mentality. 👊
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 11, 2020
“It’s about opportunity. We are a balanced club, we are a club with certain principles, we are a club that one year ago or so ended building the best stadium in the world,” he said.
“We are a different club. The point here now is to get a more balanced squad, a squad with more options and I was already saying before I don’t like the back-up situation.
“I just told you that I also don’t like the profile of player that doesn’t want to come to us.
“You look to all the other top clubs and they have many options as centre-forwards and that question doesn’t appear. Every club is a club and I don’t want their managers to misinterpret my words but for example (Timo) Werner went to Chelsea and Chelsea had (Tammy) Abraham and (Olivier) Giroud.
“Man City has (Sergio) Aguero and (Gabriel) Jesus. Liverpool has (Roberto) Firmino, (Divick) Origi, (Mohamed) Salah can play there too, (Sadio) Mane.
A post shared by Giovani Lo Celso (@locelsogiovani) on Jul 30, 2020 at 1:47pm PDT
“It looks like it’s only with us where we don’t have the right to have a more balanced squad with more options.
Spurs begin their Premier League campaign against Everton on Sunday and will sweat over midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.
The Argentinian did not feature at all in pre-season as he was bugged by an injury carried over from the back end of last season.
“Let’s see,” Mourinho said. “He didn’t play, he didn’t play one single minute. He was one of the players that had to deal with some issues from pre-season.
“His condition is not the best, but Sunday, Thursday, Sunday, we need him. So I want to wait until tomorrow to see if he’s for Sunday, if he’s for Thursday. Gio is there, he can eventually play.”