José Mourinho has bemoaned the difficulty of being in competition with clubs that “just break the rules and forget the financial fair play”, as he outlined how he intended to reshape Tottenham into Champions League qualifiers.
The Spurs manager was asked about the comments of Mikel Arteta, his counterpart at Arsenal, and whether he agreed with him about the need in effect to gamble on spending big on players in order to close the gap to clubs in Europe’s elite tournament, reports The Guardian.
Earlier in the week Mourinho had been critical of the decision to fine Manchester City €10m (£9m) but not ban them from UEFA competition after the investigation into whether they had broken FFP rules. City were found to have obstructed the inquiry, although on the more serious charge of falsely inflating their sponsorship revenues the alleged breaches were either not established or time-barred. Mourinho has linked City’s fine to a level of wrongdoing.
“For some clubs it is easy,” Mourinho said. “You just break the rules, you forget the financial fair play, you spend what you want and you get the good players. Easy. For some other clubs, it’s more difficult. You want to follow the rules. You don’t want to be seen with the eyes of breaking the rules and not playing a fair competition and for this profile of club the situation is more complicated.”
Mourinho has previously said that he would like additions in two or three areas during the summer, although nothing lavish in terms of net spend. Daniel Levy, the chairman, is on record as saying he spent £184m on new players in the previous two windows and Mourinho is conscious of that.
Spurs will target clubs that need to sell and players with little or no time left on their contracts. Swap deals or loans with options to buy will come into the equation. Mourinho wants the Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who has one year to run on his deal, and the south-coast club want the right-back Kyle Walker-Peters from Spurs. The Portuguese is also keen on the South Korea centre-half Kim Min‑jae from Beijing Guoan.
“The most important thing is to be realistic,” Mourinho said. “It’s to analyse the market opportunities, to analyse the clubs that are willing to sell, to analyse the player that is in the end of his contract or the last year of his contract and where the club is ready to try to have some kind of creative deals. I know exactly what I would like and how to be realistic so no problems at all.”
Tottenham’s final matches of the season are against Leicester (home) on Sunday and Crystal Palace (away) next Sunday and he has told his players “two more victories to win the Europa League”.
He added: “It is a way to motivate the troops. If they think: ‘Oh, next year I have to play in the Europa League, there could even be a qualification in the middle of September, I don’t want to do that …’ But if we say: ‘Come on, next season we are going to win the Europa League’ – that is a different feeling.”