Mourinho gives Bale fitness update; defends Bergwijn over online abuse

Date published: Friday 18th December 2020 1:33 - Robert McCarthy

Jose Mourinho v Brendan Rodgers TEAMtalk

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho expects Gareth Bale to be fit to face Leicester in Sunday’s Premier League clash.

The Wales international has missed the last two games with illness, but is back in training.

Mourinho said: “He’s fine. Trained Thursday with the team and today. He looks OK. If he’s OK again tomorrow then he’ll be fine.

“Tanganga is out. Lamela trained I cannot say 100% with the team but some exercises with us. Coming to the end of his injury but still not ready. Not close.”

Mourinho has insisted Steven Bergwijn has the club’s full support after the Dutchman received online abuse for his two misses in the 2-1 loss at Liverpool.

“I don’t know what I can do apart from the player knowing that in this club we are all together,” he said. “We lose, we win and we draw all together. He has us and we have him.

“He’s one of my boys. Period. There’s no point for me to individualise. He’s a good professional and he gives everything he can for the team.”

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Liverpool turn to Spurs defensive target

Liverpool have added Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez to their list of defensive targets, according to a report.

Defence is an area of priority for Liverpool at present, after Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both suffered serious injuries. The first-choice pairing might not feature until next season.

That leaves Joel Matip, who is also injury prone, as the only senior centre-back among their ranks. Fabinho has dropped into a deeper role to provide cover in recent months, while Jurgen Klopp has also called upon academy graduates like Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips.

Several figures from inside the club maintain that Liverpool are more likely to stick with those players rather than bring in a new face in January. However, they continue to be linked with a number of potential reinforcements.

The latest suggestion, according to ASRomaLive, is Ibanez, who has enjoyed a rapid rise in 2020. The Brazilian joined Roma from Atalanta in January, having previously only played twice for his former club.

Ibanez established himself as a key player for Roma after making his debut post-lockdown, though. He is now a regular starter for the club.

The Italian side are already bracing themselves for bids for the 22-year-old. He already has three suitors in the Premier League.

Tottenham and Leicester were keen during the summer transfer window. At the time, Roma wanted at least €30m before they would consider selling Ibanez.

Now, that asking price may have risen further, to somewhere between €35m and €40m. Read more…

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