Jose Mourinho reveals Tottenham transfer plans
"I told [the players] that one of the reasons why I decided to come was them. I tried to buy some of them for different clubs, I couldn't"
By Liam Grace
Last Updated: 22/11/19 6:53am
Jose Mourinho says he is happy with the Tottenham squad and hinted he will not seek huge funds in the January transfer window.
Mourinho was named Tottenham's new head coach on Wednesday, replacing Mauricio Pochettino, in his first job since he was sacked by Manchester United 11 months ago.
He inherits a team featuring Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, who are yet to sign new contracts and could leave Spurs for free at the end of the season.
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There were rumours of a rift in the Spurs dressing room this season under Pochettino, but Mourinho insisted that part of his vision was to "try and keep all the best players and to refuse to let the best players go away".
During his spell at United, Mourinho experienced a high-profile fallout with star midfielder Paul Pogba, who he stripped of the club's vice-captaincy, but the Portuguese said his "best gift" as Spurs boss was his current squad.
"Players… the best gift are the ones that are here," Mourinho said. "I don't need players, I am happy with the players that I have. I just need time to understand them better to know everything about them.
"You only know a player when you work with them. How many times have I played against these guys? I know them well but never enough until you work with them. My gift is this squad, it is very good.
"If we win titles it will not be because of me but as a consequence of the work we do at the club. This is a package, this is a vision. To try and keep all the best players and to refuse to let the best players go away is part of the vision too."
When asked specifically about Eriksen, Vertonghen and Alderweireld, Mourinho added: "I've had no time to look at individual cases.
"The first thing for me is for the players to feel good and if they are going to leave in January or June or sign a new contract I think all of that based on feeling good and to feel good is to be ready and available on Saturday.
"Jan cannot do that because of injury. But they have to be ready for the team. Then it is about the club, it is about them, it is about me, it is about Mr Levy but fundamentally it is about the players being happy.
"You have to choose what makes you happy but at this moment we have to look at the short term and we have to try and get two good results in the next two matches."
The former Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss even admitted that there are one or two players in the Spurs dressing room that he tried to sign when he was in charge of previous clubs.
Mourinho is a known admirer of Alderweireld, who was heavily linked with a move to United during the 56-year-old's time in Manchester.
"I told [the players] one of the reasons why I decided to come was them," he said "I tried to buy some of them for different clubs, I couldn't.
"Some of them I didn't even try because you know how impossible it is. But I like this squad very, very much."
'I received 50 messages from Man Utd people'
Mourinho revealed that United players and staff had been in touch to wish him luck in north London.
He also confirmed he spoke with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez before joining Tottenham, but insists it was merely a friendly chat between two friends.
"If you want to call my friends at Real Madrid, then yes I speak with them many, many times. I have so many friends there," he said.
"The first one is the president, I love him, he loves me, we are friends and we speak, we exchange SMS messages. We wish each other luck, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, good luck for the game. I have friends there. I loved my time there.
"We did amazing things there, it was an amazing period for me. I always feel flattered when I leave these things behind me that go above success and football.
"Yesterday I received 50 messages from Manchester United people, some players, some staff and people from different areas of the club - including the board. Everybody. That for me means the world.
"It is not about the winning, it is about the respect that people have for you because you are a good professional and a good person. Real Madrid is a good part of my life and I wish them well."