Jose Mourinho has told Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, that he does not need to break the bank to deliver silverware on his return to management, but he is adamant Harry Kane must not be allowed to leave this summer.
Levy appointed Mourinho as Tottenham’s head coach on a 3½-year contract, worth up to £13 million a year, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, having only confirmed the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino and his staff the previous evening.
Mourinho held a team meeting at Tottenham’s Enfield training centre hours after his arrival, in which he told the squad that they must pull together to save the season. He also held individual talks with senior players, including Kane.
The Portuguese will focus most of his efforts on trying to rebuild the Tottenham defence, but he is otherwise satisfied that he largely has a squad capable of challenging for trophies – as long as Kane stays at the club. Any January business may have to be subsidised by the sales of other players.
Kane’s Spurs future had started to become uncertain under Pochettino after the 26-year-old made it clear that he wanted to start winning trophies to go with his various goal records.
Mourinho will ask Kane to give him at least one full season to prove that he can bring Tottenham’s 11-year trophy drought to an end and succeed where Pochettino ultimately fell short.
Levy also remains determined to keep his star player, whom he values at £250 million. Mourinho wants to work closely with Kane and rates him as one of the best strikers in the world. He is also a fan of Dele Alli and Son Heung-min, who will be integral parts of his attacking options.
Mourinho reiterated his admiration for the Tottenham squad in his first interview with the club, in which he said: “What can I promise? Passion – for my job, but also passion for my club”.