José Mourinho unhappy at Spurs’ winter break timing with Leipzig tie looming

Nick Ames
Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Christian Eriksen will travel to Milan and have a medical early next week before completing a move to Internazionale after the Serie A club agreed a €20m (£16.7m) fee with Tottenham for the attacking midfielder.

Talks have been ongoing for some time, with Tottenham demanding €20m from the outset and in the end the chairman, Daniel Levy, got what he wanted for a player who has been with the club since 2013 and had six months left on his contract.

Inter offered €15m plus add-ons at the beginning of this week and, when the clubs met on Friday they struck a deal. The Dane has accepted a four-and-a-half-year contract worth a basic £260,000 a week that could rise to £320,000 with add-ons.

Tottenham are in talks with Real Sociedad over the possible signing of Willian José but the clubs are £11m apart in their valuation of the striker, with Spurs having offered roughly half of what the Spanish side want.

Mourinho has identified the 28-year-old Brazilian as his main target and the player has told Sociedad he wants to leave. He has a release clause, believed to be €70m (£58.8m), but Sociedad realise they are not going to get anywhere near that for a player with eight goals in 20 games in La Liga this season. Spurs have offered £10m with Sociedad holding out for £21m (€25m).

Mourinho, meanwhile, José Mourinho has questioned the timing of Tottenham’s winter break, saying it should be scheduled closer to their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig.

Spurs will have a fortnight off between their matches with Manchester City on 2 February and at Aston Villa on 16 February. They play the Bundesliga leaders at home in the first leg on 19 February but Mourinho appeared to suggest his team should have been given a clear run of rest and training-ground work before that fixture.

“It is what it is,” he said. “I’m not happy that the break comes in the wrong moment. The break should be before the Champions League and, in the end, before the Champions League we don’t have the break. We have to play Aston Villa on the Sunday, playing [RB Leipzig] two days later [sic]. So we don’t really care about the break, honestly.”

Related: Christian Eriksen to join Inter after Tottenham accept €20m offer

Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea will also play league fixtures the weekend before their Champions League ties.

Should Spurs draw Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Southampton they are likely to face a replay on 5 February that would, in any case, shorten their break significantly but Mourinho said that inconvenience would not affect their attitude towards the game.

“If we have to play Southampton in a second match, it means we are still alive in the competition and it’s better than losing,” he said. “Of course if we can choose, the result we are going to try and get is to win the match.”

Tottenham lost 1-0 at St Mary’s in the Premier League on New Year’s Day, a particularly damaging afternoon’s work given Harry Kane limped off with the hamstring injury that keeps him out until at least April. Mourinho described Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side as “good, really good” but made a point of observing their most recent match against Crystal Palace on Tuesday, whereas Spurs were in action against Norwich on Wednesday. He also observed that his team had been hard done by in that meeting three and a half weeks ago – echoing his comment after the Norwich game that “normally players and teams that play against us … are all lucky”.

“What do I expect? First of all I expect a team 24 hours fresher than another, because they have 24 hours’ advantage in relation to that,” he said. “A team with big self-esteem, big confidence and again very difficult to play against.

“What did we learn there? We learned that it’s hard and it’s going to be hard. Again, there we were a bit unlucky and Southampton were a bit lucky. The Harry Kane [disallowed] goal, other decisions, injury to Harry, injury to [Tanguy] Ndombele at the beginning of the game. We have to fight against so many things we cannot control.”