Roma boss Jose Mourinho has questioned the decision of his former club Tottenham to replace Nuno Espirito Santo with Antonio Conte.

The Italian signed an 18-month contract with Spurs on Tuesday after Nuno was relieved of his duties following a stuttering start to the season that saw them win five and lose five of their first 10 Premier League games.

The former Wolves manager saw his four-month spell at the North London club come to an end on Monday after a 3-0 defeat at home to another of Mourinho's former teams, Manchester United.

When asked whether Spurs turning to Conte would make them Tottenham stronger, Mourinho spoke to Sky Sport. “He is a good coach, but Nuno Espirito Santo is also a very good coach who had done well for four or five years at Wolverhampton. I can't say that Tottenham have a good coach now, they had one before. They have it now and they already had it.”

Like Mourinho, Conte has enjoyed previous success in English football with Chelsea, whom he guided to the Premier League and FA Cup during his two seasons in charge.

Of all managers to have taken charge of at least 20 Premier League games, only Pep Guardiola (73 per cent) has a higher winning percentage than Conte (67 per cent).

Mourinho and Conte clashed several times during their time in the Premier League when the former Italy boss was at Stamford Bridge and the Portuguese managed the Red Devils.

During his 18-month spell at Tottenham that came to an end in April, Mourinho managed 58 Premier League games, winning 27, drawing 14 and losing 17.

Nuno Espirito Santo is unsure if Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn will be available for Tottenham's Premier League clash with Chelsea after limping off in the 2-2 draw with Rennes on Thursday.

Tottenham hit back through Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg's deft finish to claim a point in their opening Europa Conference League group match after Flavien Tait and Gaetan Laborde had struck to cancel out an early Loic Bade own goal.

The draw at Roazhon Park came at a cost for Nuno, however, as Bergwijn hobbled off in the first half with an ankle problem and Lucas was replaced before the hour after being caught by a strong challenge from Tait.

Spurs are already without Son Heung-min due to an injury sustained on international duty last week, while Eric Dier is also sidelined and a trio of South American players – Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Davinson Sanchez – are in quarantine.

With a huge home match against London rivals Chelsea up next in three days' time, Nuno has been left to rue his side's growing list of absentees. 

"It's been terrible, I must be honest," he said at his post-match news conference. "Let's not hide behind anything.  After the Watford game, everything that has happened has not been very good for us. 

"But this is football. And we know it’s a moment we have to overcome. Today, we tried to show the players solutions, thinking about the game on Sunday. But it's about overcoming obstacles. That will make us stronger for the future, for sure."

Asked if either of the pair will be ready to take on Chelsea, Nuno said: "It's too early to say. The physios are working with them." 

Star striker Harry Kane played just under an hour of the Rennes match and had only one shot in total – albeit an improvement on the zero attempts and zero touches in the opposition box managed against Crystal Palace last Saturday.

Kane was one of four players to retain his place in the side from that 3-0 loss at Selhurst Park as Spurs battled to a share of the spoils in their Group G opener at a raucous Roazhon Park.

Tottenham took the lead when Bade turned Lucas' cross into his own net, but Tait curled an impressive equaliser past Pierluigi Gollini and the Spurs keeper could only push Kamaldeen Sulemana's shot into the path of Laborde for Rennes' second.

Substitute Hojbjerg rescued a point, however, and Nuno was pleased with the overall display to take a point back to north London in what was his side's toughest fixture on paper, with Vitesse and Slovenian side Mura also in the pool.

"We scored then we lost control," Nuno said. "We played a good team who caused some problems. It is hard to judge the game, but I think we finished well against a hard team to play against. 

"But the attitude was good and with a lot of players playing out of position it is hard to properly judge."

Harry Kane is in contention to make his first start of the season against Pacos de Ferreira after confirming he is staying at Tottenham beyond the end of this transfer window.

The Manchester City-linked striker put a temporary end to speculation regarding his future on Wednesday by declaring that he is "100 per cent focused" on Spurs.

England captain Kane was not included in Tottenham's squad for their first two games of the campaign, but he returned as a second-half substitute in Sunday's win at Wolves.

He has been named in Spurs' squad for Thursday's Europa Conference League play-off tie with Pacos, which the north London outfit trail 1-0 from last week's first leg.

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is happy to be able to move on from the transfer saga, which has somewhat overshadowed his side's positive start to the new Premier League season.

"It's great news, fantastic news for everybody," Nuno said when asked about Kane committing his future to Spurs.

"I think since Harry returned to us, he's been working hard. This is what we value. His attitude in training has been great. 

"It's now finished – Harry's going to be with us. He worked today and is an option for tomorrow. Like I said, fantastic news for everybody.

"We are all very happy. He is one of the best players in the world. We are all very happy, delighted to have one more option to the season ahead of us."

Kane has scored 221 goals in 337 appearances for Tottenham in all competitions and is second only to Jimmy Graves (266) in the list of the club's all-time top scorers.

The 28-year-old's 37 goal involvements last season were his most across a league campaign to date, while his 14 assists doubled a previous high of seven in 2016-17.

Despite Kane admitting in May that he was at a "crossroads" in his career, Nuno has no doubt over the prolific striker's motivation to continue playing for Spurs.

"I think it's up to us and everybody, the player himself, to get this motivation. There shouldn't be any kind of doubts to pay for Spurs," he said. 

"This is an amazing club, a good team, and we we need everybody involved during this process. It's good hat this issue is over and we can proceed as normal."

Tottenham made 11 changes to their starting line-up for last week's trip to Portugal, which they lost to a first-half strike from Lucas Silva.

Spurs must now turn things around when Pacos visit Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday, with Nuno expected to name a stronger side this time around.

When further probed on whether Kane is in line to start, Nuno said: "Let's see, we still have to decide. He trained today. It was a fantastic training session.

"But we still have to decide the starting team for tomorrow. There are a lot of things to understand. This week is different, we are all together.

"That allows us to make different decisions, different circumstances. It's a must win game, with the tie to be decided tomorrow."

Is one of football's biggest transfer sagas coming to an end?

Manchester United wanted Jadon Sancho at the start of 2020-21 but a deal with Borussia Dortmund did not materialise.

However, Premier League giants United appear to be closing in on the England international ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO SET FOR OLD TRAFFORD

Jadon Sancho will join Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund, according to Fabrizio Romano.

United have long been interested in Sancho, who had previously attracted attention from Liverpool and Chelsea.

But Romano says an agreement is "really close", with "final details expected to be completed in the next few days".

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport Bild reports Real Madrid are scouting RB Leipzig and Spain star Dani Olmo during Euro 2020. Madrid continue to be linked with Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, however, Cadena Ser claims Los Blancos have ruled out an off-season move due to their financial situation.

United are confident of signing Raphael Varane from Madrid but the France defender's salary expectations are a stumbling block, says The Independent. It comes as ESPN reports Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek could be sold as part of a revamp of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad.

- According to Foot Mercato, former Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has made PSG his priority. The veteran has also been linked with United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Tottenham are interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde as they edge closer to appointing former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, says Romano and Gianluca Di Marzio. Kounde is one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe, linked with Chelsea, United and Madrid.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barca are eyeing Valencia captain Jose Gaya and Chelsea's Marcos Alonso if Inter target Jordi Alba leaves and Junior Firpo joins Milan.

Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri wants to reunite with Arthur in Rome and could send Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Juventus, per Il Bianconero.

- Alfredo Pedulla claims PSG are leading the race to sign Lazio star Joaquin Correa. Arsenal and Tottenham are also eyeing the forward.

A stunning move for Cristiano Ronaldo could be in the works.

The Portugal captain may end up back with a former club in a swap deal.

The price for Manchester United would be high.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO SWAP DEAL RUMOURED

If Manchester United want to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, they may have to surrender Paul Pogba.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Juventus would consider using the 36-year-old forward in a swap deal for Pogba, who has a year left on his contract.

The question is whether United would part with the 28-year-old France midfielder in return.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City could land Harry Kane via a cash-plus-swap deal that sends Gabriel Jesus to Tottenham, the Daily Star reports. 

- Arsenal are interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba, according to The Athletic. 

- Barcelona have not given up in their attempts to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, Marca reports.

- Lazio have joined Roma as suitors for veteran centre-back Jerome Boateng with the Germany international set to leave Bayern Munich. 

- Granit Xhaka is a target for Jose Mourinho's Roma, and Arsenal have said they want £17million for the midfielder, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. 

- Pedrinho will leave Benfica before next season, ESPN reports, with Shakhtar Donetsk the likely destination for the 23-year-old Brazilian. 

- Crystal Palace will speak to former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo about replacing Roy Hodgson, The Sun reports. 

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