Mourinho on Harry Kane: "[He is] a special player for us that probably wouldn't be so special playing for another team. He's really special for us, he's really special for Tottenham."
Monday 20 July 2020 10:12, UK
Jose Mourinho said Spurs striker Harry Kane would "not be so special playing for another team" when asked about the club talisman's future.
During the three-month Premier League suspension Kane refused to rule out leaving Tottenham and said if he felt the club were not "progressing", he would consider moving on.
Mourinho was questioned about the England captain on the back of his double against Leicester and sixth goal in eight games since the Premier League restart, but said he may not be held in such high regard at other clubs.
"I think everyone thinks he's a fantastic player and Tottenham is so lucky to have him because he's the player, the person and the Tottenham boy," Mourinho said.
"All this together makes him really a special player for us that probably wouldn't be so special playing for another team. He's really special for us, he's really special for Tottenham.
"Of course we want him to be happy and for him to be happy he wants victories, score goals, and I'm so happy after an incredibly difficult injury he's coming in the direction where he's going to end the season perfect.
"Hopefully the beginning of next season he will be even better."
Mourinho, who has managed the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his career, told Sky Sports Kane is "second to none" to other strikers he has worked with in the past.
He said: "It's difficult for me to compare strikers, but I had almost in every club some of the best, and of course he's second to none.
"He's just different, different qualities. But as a striker, as a goalscorer, as a team player, as a leader, I think he is fantastic.
"It's difficult to make him any better. The better the team is, the better he can be. But it depends more on us, on the team than himself.
"He's an amazing professional, he works very well, he cannot work better than what he does during the week, he's a fantastic striker, I'm so happy and Tottenham are lucky to have him."
Tottenham will be left in a strong position to secure European football next season if Sheffield United lose to Everton on Monday night, but if Wolves drop points at home to Crystal Palace later that evening, it will put Spurs' hopes of finishing sixth - and guaranteeing continental qualification - in their own hands when they visit Selhurst Park in their final game of the season next Sunday.
After Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final win on Saturday, the Gunners' could still take the final Europa League qualifying spot at the expense of the team who finishes in seventh should they lift the trophy on August 1.
Despite missing out on Champions League qualification already, Mourinho said the fight to finish as high as possible in the Premier League table would remain a priority for Spurs in the last week of the season.
"I think really we are one of the teams with more points during this period after the break, and I think that's a very good feeling. Now we have to fight to finish sixth, but it doesn't depend on us.
"We have to win, and that's difficult at Palace, but we have to win and wait for something from our opponents. If not, seventh, because we can achieve that independently from the others. And then we still depend on the FA Cup final, but getting or not getting to Europa League the feeling of what we are doing and improving is very important for next season.
"It's what I've always said, it's very important the way we ended. What we were showing after the long break. The long break is not so open like a pre-season hopefully is, we had lots of limitations, but was good enough for us and the players to feel that with work and time we could improve."
With Champions League qualification now all resting on Leicester's final-day game with Manchester United, having been 14 points clear of fifth position at the turn of the year, Brendan Rodgers played down the pressure on his side's need to reach Europe's premier continental competition after a third defeat in six.
He told Sky Sports: "The season's judged over 38 games, on 20 games people were looking at it and saying we were certs, but the players have been outstanding, at worst they've gone to what would be par for them in some of our performances, but we've also played really well.
"We've been unfortunate with one or two injuries as well. But for me, we've achieved the goals we initially set out to achieve by having European football, and we have a game to have a shot at the Champions League.
"For some that will be a disappointment, for others they'll be gratified by what the players have given them this season. There's one more game to go, we'll give it everything we can and see where it takes us."