Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has played down an alleged rift with club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele. However, a report in France has claimed the player no longer wishes to work under the current boss and all communication between them has been cut.
Ndombele joined Spurs from Lyon last summer in a deal worth an initial £55m plus add-ons but has struggled with injuries and fitness. He has started only sparingly since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November and has been publicly criticised by his manager.
Ndombele was hauled off at half-time when Spurs faced Burnley in March and after the game, Mourinho cuttingly declared, “In the first half we didn't have a midfield.”
The boss added at the time, “I’m not going to run away and I have to say he [Ndombele] has had enough time to come to a different level.
“I know the Premier League is difficult, and some players take a long time to adapt to a different league. But a player with his potential has to give us more than he is giving us, especially when you see how Lucas, Lo Celso and those players are playing.”
Mourinho was later seen putting Ndombele through his paces in a training session in a local park in April, breaking coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the process.
Since games have resumed this month, Ndombele has only been an unused substitute.
Speaking after Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over West Ham, Mourinho explained his decision to omit Ndombele from the team by stating that he is not the only player affected.
“You know, it's not just him (Ndombele). I try to do the best for my team. I cannot start the game with 12 or 13 players, I try to do the best for the team,” he told the gathered media.
“Sometimes I apologise to my players that are not my first choice because I feel their work in training deserves something more than I give but I have to do my job the best I can and I felt for these two matches I didn't need him.”
But later emerging from French outlet TF1 it has been claimed that a meeting between Ndombele and Mourinho this week that the player told his manager he no longer wants to work for him.
It is said that some Spurs players are trying to mediate and are fighting Ndombele’s corner by highlighting his good performances in training, with direct communication between the France international and Mourinho reported to be cut.
French journalist Santi Aouna has reported that Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Ndombele, as was the case in March when his relationship with Mourinho first appeared to be on the rocks.
That could take the form of an initial loan deal and PSG coach Thomas Tuchel is said to internally pushing for the French champions to make the approach.
Aouna adds that Barcelona and Bayern Munich are also keeping an eye on things.
Source : 90min