Jose Mourinho says he has not yet had chance to personally inform Victor Wanyama he is not part of Tottenham’s Champions League squad.
Tottenham named their 30-man group for the knockout rounds of the competition on Tuesday, including eight ‘locally trained players’, with Wanyama – strongly linked with an exit in January – the most notable absentee.
Mourinho named three senior goalkeepers in his squad for the last-16 tie against RB Leipzig, with captain Hugo Lloris back involved after recovering from an elbow injury to join Michel Vorm and Paulo Gazzaniga.
Wanyama has not played since the 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich on December 11 and Mourinho has indicated the Kenya midfielder is not part of his future plans.
“I feel safer by having Michel on the list,” he said at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay with Southampton.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 10, 2020
“I don’t want the risk of losing Paulo or Hugo. Victor is from a position where we have lots of players – [Harry] Winks, [Eric] Dier, [Oliver] Skipp, Gedson [Fernandes].”
Asked how Wanyama took the decision, Mourinho replied: “He’s been ill for three days. I haven’t seen him and I didn’t have the chance to tell him. When he is back, I will try to explain.”
Gedson Fernandes and Steven Bergwijn arrived at Tottenham last month to bolster Spurs’ squad and the latter was on target on debut in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Manchester City.
Mourinho declared himself pleased with his side’s business, despite losing Christian Eriksen to Inter in a protracted transfer that finally came to an end last week.
“We got a very good player in Steven and a good kid with good potential to develop in Gedson,” he said. “I would say we also lost a fantastic player, because people cannot judge Christian for the last season alone.
“He has to be judged for six seasons where he showed at the club and the Premier League his top quality.
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) February 1, 2020
“We found our balance there, lost a fantastic midfield player, got a very exciting attacking winger and a young boy in midfielder who can give us solutions.”
Tottenham remain without injured midfielder Moussa Sissoko and top scorer Harry Kane, who is expected to face at least another two months on the sidelines.
“Without injuries, I would say ‘yes, good window’. One player who gave six years is leaving but an incredible, exciting prospect is coming,” Mourinho said.
“I would say, ‘Very very good’, but we had these problems with important injuries and of course our squad in this moment is not as good as it can be. When our injured players are back, of course it will be much better.”
Mourinho’s men moved to within four points of the top four with their victory against City and the Portuguese talked up the togetherness of his squad.
“We do our best, we try our best,” he said. “Independent of any analysis anyone can do about our last matches, one thing is clear in the eyes of everybody – the group is together, the players are fantastic, they fight for each other and the club.
“In difficult circumstances, we’re a difficult team to play against and in difficult circumstances we’re always giving opponents a difficult match.”
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