Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has revealed that he knew from the day he started in the job that Christian Eriksen was going to leave the club.
Eriksen had been linked with a move away from North London for months following Spurs’ defeat in the Champions League final, with the player himself admitting he was considering a new challenge.
That challenge came when Inter Milan confirmed the signing of the Denmark international on Tuesday for a fee of around £16.9m.
Eriksen said he was “very excited” to be part of Antonio Conte’s side, who are three points behind Juventus in the race for the Serie A title.
After months of speculation over Eriksen’s future, Mourinho revealed the inside track on proceedings to reporters at Friday’s press conference.
The manager said: “We didn’t tell because of a moral agreement with Christian, but from the first day I arrived [last November], he told me he was not going to sign [a contract].
“So then it was for me and Mr [Daniel] Levy to manage the situation – for me to have a player without great motivation but still a good sense of professionalism and respect for the club.
“And Mr Levy, on the business side, managed to do a great deal with six months left on the contract.”
Eriksen was visibly removed from Mourinho’s plans for the final months of his time at Spurs, with the Portuguese boss opening up on his decision to leave him out of the team.
“I tried to persuade Toby [Alderweireld] when Toby told me he was having some doubts [about re-signing] but Christian told me the decision was made and no way,” he said.
“From that moment, I was just trying to build the team without him. That was the reason why I didn’t play him many, many times.
“At the same time, I knew Christian with some limitations – there are always limitations with a player in his situation – would try until his last day to help the team.”
Elsewhere in Friday’s press conference, Mourinho revealed that new signing Steven Bergwijn could make his Tottenham debut in Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.
Bergwijn signed on Wednesday from PSV and is a welcome addition following the injury to Harry Kane.
Mourinho said: “Yes, I think [Bergwijn will be involved]. We have four attacking players – Son [Heung-min], Lucas [Moura], [Erik] Lamela and Steven – so he has to be involved.
“I would like to give him more time, probably the perfect situation would be to come [in] after the winter break, but that’s not possible.”