Tottenham interested in Atalanta transfer as Lucas Moura reveals his Spurs dream

The following is replicated from Football.London

Spurs tracking Atalanta right-back

A new report from French outlet Le10Sport claims that Tottenham are interested in signing Atalanta right-back Timothy Castagne (via HITC ).

The Belgium international, 24, is looking to leave the Serie A surprise package, having fallen to the periphery since Christmas. 

It’s said he has no intention to sign a contract extension, and he could be bought in a cut-price deal this summer as his current deal expires in 2021. He’s also expressed a desire to play in England.

“I like the Premier League and the direct play in England. But whether it comes now or in a few years, whatever,” he said.

Lucas Moura determined to become a Tottenham club legend

Lucas Moura scored arguably the most famous goal of Tottenham’s modern history with the last-second winner at Ajax taking them to the Champions League final last season.

The match-winner all but guarantees his place in the hearts of Spurs fans, but he’s now stressed he wants to win a title to become a club legend.

“I have things to achieve here, the club is growing a lot,” the Brazilian told Globo Esporte(via Sport Witness).

“With the arrival of Mourinho and after last season, we reached another level.

“I aim to be a champion here. I really want to be a champion and mark my name in the history of the club.”

Moura also spoke about returning to boyhood club São Paulo later in his career. Here’s what he said in full.

The unseen problem Japhet Tanganga faced in difficult Premier League debut

John McDermott, head of academy coaching and player development at Spurs, has revealed that Japhet Tanganga suffered with cramp on his Premier League debut against Liverpool.

Mourinho made the surprise decision to hand the Hackney-born academy graduate his league debut against the runaway Premier League leaders in January.

Spurs went on to lose the game, but the 21-year-old defender received widespread praise for a mature performance in a difficult test.

Tanganga and the academy staff took part in a new videomade with sponsors AIA in which David Beckham visited the training ground, interviewing them about his path from the youth set-up and into the first team.

“Playing in front of such a large crowd I felt this was an opportunity to show the world what I can do,” said the Spurs ace.

“Just keeping working, just digging in and finding another side of me that I didn’t think that I could probably bring out.

“I was literally talking to myself and telling myself ‘just give us 10 minutes, keep watching the time, keep pushing yourself through it and sooner or later it will come to an end.'”

Life on a razor’s edge

By Barry Glendenning, The Guardian

Tottenham Hotspur don’t line up in a Christmas tree formation, but if they did The Fiver’s of the opinion Serge Aurier might not be its brightest bulb. While we have long been in awe of the well remunerated 27-year-old Ivory Coast international’s inability to perform even the simplest task of taking a throw-in properly, it is in the current lockdown that he has truly come into his own.

Though you wouldn’t think it to look at him defending, the full-back has recently demonstrated a quite alarming inability to stay two metres away from the nearest human. And with two well-documented social distancing strikes to his name already, he has chalked up a third after posing alongside a barber who appears to be responsible for having set about his head with clippers, scissors and that soft little brush they dip in talc that feels cool and ticklish on your neck.

“We are investigating the circumstances and will deal with the incident appropriately,” sighed a Spurs suit in yet another statement, with photos of Aurier arriving at training suggesting their idea of doing so began at advising their hapless employee to wear a hat. Evidence from other training grounds and social media disgraces suggests Aurier might not have been the only Premier League player to have got up close and personal with a barber during lockdown but he has been the only one dumb enough not to pretend he cut his own hair.

While your increasingly hirsute Fiver gazed enviously at his freshly coiffured barnet, it emerged that we might soon become privy to the grooming routines of even more top-flight stars. In the latest details to emerge from Monday’s Premier League meeting it has been revealed that in a bid to get more bang for their buck from Project No Cashback, broadcasters want to show footage – limited pictures only with no sound – from behind the curtain, inside the sanctuary of dressing-rooms.

Mindful that the sight of watching Scott McTominay and other high-profile players struggle to unknot their sock ties is an untapped and potentially endless stream of revenue to which Sky and BT Sport are not entitled, several clubs have raised objections. However, with the news that broadcasters could demand refunds of up to £36m from Premier League members for every week after 12 July the season finishes, The Fiver suspects some sock-tie compromise may be reached.

With so many venal, grubby, self-serving, greedy, money-grasping interests pulling in opposite directions despite it being patently obvious they all desperately need each other, it seems that nobody involved is interested in emerging from the current crisis looking good. Nobody, that is, except Serge Aurier, who has found himself on the razor’s edge once again.


“We apologise deeply to all those concerned about the unfortunate situation that occurred. We will review our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again” – FC Seoul express yet more contrition after hearing they could face a stadium expulsion for filling seats with $ex dolls in a behind-closed doors K-League game.

José Mourinho ‘desperate’ for Premier League to restart as soon as it is safe

Spurs manager conscious Bundesliga will return this weekend

Mourinho proud of squad’s ‘dedication and passion’ in lockdown

By David Hytner, The Guardian

José Mourinho has spelled out his desire to return to training and playing at the earliest opportunity – pending the all-clear from the government and health authorities.

The Tottenham manager has previously spoken of his determination to complete the season even if it means matches being played without fans and his competitive juices have been further stirred by the return of the Bundesliga this weekend.

Mourinho was on the conference call between the Premier League managers and the league on Wednesday when the first phase of a return-to-training plan was discussed. Spurs’ players have been able to use the club’s training ground in Enfield for solo fitness sessions since 28 April and the hope is that they can work within physically distanced small groups from Tuesday.

Mourinho said: “I have not asked for any delay. I want to train and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it’s safe to do so, particularly now as we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.

“I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness – they have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication. We have all been working extremely hard through remote squad training sessions and isolated running now the pitches are available to use again at the training centre.

“Every player is extremely committed in terms of their individual work and now we wait for clearance to commence working in small groups again, which I will fully support.”

Inside ‘Project Sabotage’: Why the Premier League’s bottom six disagree with the rest and what comes next

A schism in English football has long been seen as inevitable, but the current situation has been an inversion of the growing divide, explains Miguel Delaney of The Independant.

The split in the Premier League has now become so pronounced that some figures have a name they share for the bottom six: ‘Project Sabotage’.

It is said in jest, but there are more straight-faced questions about why exactly that bloc have taken the attitude they have. The feeling is they are objecting to absolutely everything, and not offering any alternatives, or pretty much anything else.

This is best indicated by the furore over neutral grounds.

It is seen as pointed that executives like Brighton’s Paul Barber and Aston Villa’s Christian Purslow have started to go public over this. They are still putting it out that they don’t want to give up home advantage, and would prefer to finish the season under the same conditions, even though it has been stridently and repeatedly stressed to them that just isn’t an option.

“The government have been clear,” one source says. “It’s the only way we get approval.”

So, if there are no neutral stadiums, there’s no football and – very likely – no international broadcasting income.

Those same TV contracts are also why scrapping relegation is “totally off the table”, even though the bottom six say they would come right on board if that was the case.

This is one of the major sources of tension in this split, that is over the next few days likely to cause a lot of politicking.

On one side, there’s the huge financial cost of dropping out of the Premier League. The bottom six do have some justifiable complaints about the unfairness of potentially losing so much money because they’ve lost more games on neutral grounds that were supposed to be at home.

On the other side, there’s the greater financial cost of not playing the Premier League at all.

The fact much of the issue comes down to money has been one of the more distasteful aspects of this, but many naturally felt that was destined to happen. Just not quite like this.

A schism in English football was long seen as inevitable, but the current situation has been an inversion of the growing divide, and what was expected.

It is not the big six against the rest. It is, however, a product of that.

It is the bottom six against the rest precisely because of the upward drag created by the financial greed of the game – and the conditions that fostered a big six in the first place – and a competition they’re all just desperate to stay in. The financial gap is now too great, especially at such a time as this.

That has led to a few more quips from those in the game. “They’re all so desperate to play in the Premier League,” one source said, “that they’re willing to not play the Premier League at all.”

That was again said in jest, but may yet become a genuine consequence of all this, especially if “the six” manage to get another clubs over to their side to prevent the majority of 14 required in any vote.

It should also be acknowledged that many sources stress the will of “all 20 clubs” is to get back playing. This is something figures like Barber and Purslow have similarly re-iterated in public.

That is also why the other 14 are puzzled by so many objections.

It gets to something when even government sources are saying that some of the potential Premier League protocols are so strict that, if they were generally applied to more everyday businesses across the country, “nothing would ever open”.

The Premier League itself is in a tricky position. Their role – obviously – is to run a league, but they are also merely a mediating organising body between 20 shareholders. Their role in that is similarly to find a consensus. They’d prefer not to have a vote that has as many as six clubs playing in conditions against their will.

That consensus currently looks some way off.

As one figure said in exasperation, “nobody wants neutral grounds, but it’s a pandemic!”

“If you’re using neutral grounds as your straw to clutch at, you’d have to question the motives.”

As regards those motives, many on the other side find it hard not to wonder whether this is all just an opportunity to avoid relegation.

The bottom six would again re-iterate it’s just about fairness, and sporting integrity, and that such massive outcomes should not be so conditioned by such massive sudden changes to the parameters of play.

That, again, is a view that’s difficult to dispute. It’s just that you then get down another rabbit hole of discussions about advantages, and issues like whether Brighton have actually benefitted from not playing most of the big six at home so far.

And, amid all that, there’s an even bigger issue: that greater broadcasting money, and the very perception of the Premier League.

Sources among the other 14 have used the following lines in frustration: “they getting into cutting-off-your-nose territory”; “there is a danger of killing the golden goose”.

The show must go on.

For all the accusations of greed that inevitably come from such comments, though, the concerns here are much more human. Everyday jobs and livelihoods are genuinely at stake.

The clock is ticking, especially for a massively expensive industry like football that currently has no income.

It would similarly be the financially weakest clubs – who naturally happen to mostly be the bottom clubs – at greatest risk.

“There’s a lot of back and forth but the basic truth is the industry is under massive pressure like every other and a lot of jobs are on the line.”

But some feel the clock is ticking in another way, too.

There is a belief that this is all a “big game of chicken”, and the bottom six are using what is a small window to flex their position.

It is why we could well see some horse-trading over coming weeks. Potential solutions could be greater financial compensation for those relegated in the circumstances.

“As soon as numbers start getting mentioned, you know it can be fixed with money,” one source said. “They could even sell it as the moral high ground and acting for the greater good.”

There’s then the other time constraint. Uefa’s cut-off for a decision on whether to finish leagues or curtail them is 25 May.

If there’s no resolution by then, and choices have to be made on how to decide the league, we could well see this apparent inevitability go even deeper. We may well see a split among the bottom six. The bottom three, after all, won’t want their fates decided by points-per-game or some other methodology. In those circumstances, they’d rather play.

There’s still an awful lot of discussion – and disagreement – to go before that.

Premier League clubs told there is no chance of getting rid of relegation after coronavirus return

The six clubs in danger of relegation are fearful that their chances could be skewed by a greater number of away games

Miguel Delaney, Chief Football Writer, The Independant

Premier League clubs have been told there is no chance of getting rid of relegation for the 2019-20 season.

The prospect is in fact seen as so fanciful that it was not even raised at last Friday’s meeting, but some officials have since attempted to raise it as a potential bargaining chip in discussions to get the campaign restarted.

Sources say that there is a “lot of politicking” going on behind the scenes right now, especially due to a split between the bottom six and the rest.

With the Premier League maintaining that the only way to return on 12 June is with neutral venues, the six clubs in danger of relegation are fearful that their chances could be skewed by a greater number of away games.

Brighton, for example, still have to play the majority of the top six at home – games that would all now be neutral venues.

The bottom six have argued they would be more open to the idea if relegation – and the huge financial cost of going down – was scrapped.

It has been made clear, however, that is off the table.

The first issue is the fact that any change to promotion or relegation has to be agreed with the Football Association and EFL.

The second issue is that relegation is one of the most open remaining dramas in the Premier League this season – especially with Liverpool all but guaranteed the title – and that is something that is essential for broadcasters.

Aside from the fact scrapping relegation would be a breach of contract, some officials fear ‘Project Restart’ could backfire if it is just a series of meaningless dead rubbers.