Dele Alli was omitted from Tottenham's Premier League matchday squad for the second week in a row amid continued transfer speculation.
The England midfielder was absent at home to Newcastle on Sunday, even though new signing Gareth Bale was not fit to take part.
When quizzed on Sunday whether Alli was not selected because of squad rotation or other reasons, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho said: "A bit of both."
"We start with [Harry] Kane, with [Heung-Min] Son, with Lucas [Moura], then on the bench we have [Erik] Lamela and [Steven] Bergwijn, and when the players are on the pitch they have to try to earn more minutes for the next match, and for the next match they have to fight for that."
The 24-year-old was left out of Tottenham's side which dispatched Southampton 5-2 at St Mary's Stadium last weekend for footballing reasons, according to Mourinho.
- Jose: Sir Bobby made me a little Magpie
- Bale ready to rekindle Spurs love affair
- Tottenham transfer rumours
Alli was substituted at half-time during Tottenham's 1-0 Premier League opening defeat to Everton and also missed the victory over Lokomotiv Plovdiv 2-1 on September 17.
The playmaker did feature for an hour in their away clash with FK Shkendija in midweek, as Spurs secured their Europa League play-off place.
Mourinho was asked about his future prior to Tottenham's clash with Newcastle and said he was "convinced" the midfielder would be a Tottenham player by the end of the transfer window.
He told Sky Sports News: "I believe [he will stay]. I can even say that I'm convinced that he will be."
A number of clubs, including Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain, are interested in signing the England international midfielder in this transfer window.
Sky Sports News has reported that Tottenham are not prepared to allow Alli to depart on a permanent deal, with club sources remaining adamant that he will stay and fight for his place.
Meanwhile, Tottenham and Inter Milan have held talks over the transfer of central defender Milan Skriniar, who could yet join before the transfer deadline on October 5.
Summer transfer window - key dates and times
The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday October 5 with a feast of activity lined up on Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms.
A domestic-only window for deals between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on SSN and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.