Mour­inho de­lighted to now have feared Levy on his side

Evening Times - - SPORT -

JOSE Mour­inho is pleased to now be work­ing for Daniel Levy af­ter re­veal­ing his for­mer clubs used to fear the Tot­ten­ham chair­man.

Levy has a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing one of the fiercest ne­go­tia­tors in foot­ball, as Mour­inho found out when he tried to sign Tot­ten­ham play­ers in pre­vi­ous roles.

Most re­cently he tried to take Eric Dier and Toby Alder­weireld to Old Traf­ford, but Manch­ester United got short shrift from Levy.

The Spurs chief has also shown his ruth­less side in his dis­missal of Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino less than six months af­ter the Ar­gen­tinian led the club to the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal.

Mour­inho was ap­pointed less than 12 hours later, sug­gest­ing that ne­go­ti­a­tions had be­gun while Po­chet­tino was still in the job.

And the Por­tuguese, whose spell be­gins with a trip to West Ham today, is happy to now have Levy on his side.

“I used to be in clubs that fear him,” he said. “It’s true. He’s pow­er­ful. He’s a business man, but he’s a foot­ball man. He has big ex­pe­ri­ence, a part of his in­tel­li­gence over­all, he’s a foot­ball man, he un­der­stands foot­ball, he un­der­stands the in­dus­try, he un­der­stands the evo­lu­tion.

“He’s very clever, he’s very in­tel­li­gent. It’s great to have him on my side.”

Mour­inho will es­pe­cially count on Levy’s strength when it comes to try­ing to keep hold of striker Harry Kane.

The Eng­land cap­tain will be the man Mour­inho wants to build his new Spurs side around and he was pleased to hear there are no plans to sell Kane.

“This is not about me. This is about Mr Levy, this is about the club,” Mour­inho added. “He has a vi­sion, and part of that vi­sion is to make the club bet­ter, big­ger. There is no bet­ter and big­ger foot­ball club with­out a big­ger and bet­ter foot­ball team.

“So keep­ing the best play­ers is ob­vi­ously part of that plan. So [that] is noth­ing new with me.

“It was not like a prom­ise to me, it was not like I said, ‘I only go if, I only go if’, there were no ‘ifs’. It was him [Levy], part of his ex­pla­na­tion about his vi­sion for the club. With­out be­ing spe­cific about the play­ers, he told me he does not sell play­ers when the man­ager doesn’t want to sell.”

Mour­inho sug­gested that Kane was one player he knew would be im­pos­si­ble to lure from Spurs, even if Roy Keane re­cently sug­gested it would be “easy”.

For­mer Chelsea boss An­to­nio Conte ad­mit­ted he pre­vi­ously tried to sign Kane, but Mour­inho said: “I think he was wast­ing his time.

“Be­cause I think as man­agers we must have also this feel­ing of what is pos­si­ble, what is not pos­si­ble. And I think when you try to buy Kane it’s just an im­pos­si­ble mis­sion.”

Mour­inho is back in work af­ter an 11-month hia­tus fol­low­ing his sack­ing at Manch­ester United.

He could have re­turned to work long be­fore he has done but said the Spurs project ticked all of the boxes.

“I’m not rein­vent­ing my­self. I thought about my ca­reer, I thought about my evo­lu­tion,” he said. “I try to de­fine new tar­gets for my ca­reer. I was very se­lec­tive.

“I had to say no many, many times to a few clubs, good clubs with some very in­ter­est­ing projects, but I al­ways thought to my­self I have to be strong enough to wait for some­thing that re­ally mo­ti­vates me.

“Be­cause one thing is the pas­sion you have for foot­ball, but an­other thing is to feel that you have the right chal­lenge, the right sit­u­a­tion in your hands ahead of you. And this was some­thing that re­ally mo­ti­vates me.”

Jose Mour­inho is a big fan of Tot­ten­ham chair­man Daniel Levy

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