Jose Mourinho has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson urged him to sign Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli during his time at Manchester United.
In a candid extract from the new Amazon Prime documentary All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur that looks back at the last season at the north London club, the Portuguese tactician was filmed in conversation with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy as he suggested Ferguson believed United should try to sign the young England star.
Offering his observations shortly after he replaced Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham manager last November, Mourinho spoke to Levy about his admiration for Alli and his reservations over his attitude on the training ground.
“Sir Alex Ferguson gave me one piece of advice in two-and-a-half years (at Manchester United). Buy Dele Alli,” stated Mourinho. “That guy, with that mentality, the aggression he has in his mind, this guy is a Manchester United player. And he has a good eye for a player, but he is not a good trainer and we need to find the right motivation for him.
“I told Dele very directly he doesn’t train well. I’m not saying a disaster, but I’m not saying he is like Harry Kane.”
Mourinho reveals Tottenham ambitions
Speaking at a launch event for the documentary series that will start screening on Amazon Prime next Monday, Mourinho went on to suggest he has been brought to the club to turn Tottenham into winners. The club has failed to win a major trophy since their 2008 League Cup final win.
Spurs reached the 2019 Champions League final under Mauricio Pochettino. But their wait for a trophy continues and Mourinho is keen to bring that winning touch to the club.
“I feel the club has very good players and players with a dream to win with this club,” he stated. “It is a dream to do something special with the club. They almost did, but they didn’t. The challenge for all of us is to make something special happen.”
The Amazon Prime film gives a unique insight into Mourinho’s managerial methods. He is captured in conversation with the Tottenham players as he offers what is often stinging critiques of their performances in training and in games.
“People don’t understand the dimension of our job,” he added. “We are just the face of a structure. Of course, we need to manage not just the players but all the structure that you have around.
“In modern football, the evolution in sport sciences and in terms of the organisation at the club is huge. You are just the face of it. Without top players and a great structure, there are no top managers. We are just the face of the project.”