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Mourinho’s call to surprise transfer target

Tottenham fans might be surprised to learn that Jose Mourinho was considering the signing of former Leicester City striker Islam Slimani earlier this season.

Spurs were looking for a back-up to Harry Kane and before securing his first choice option of Carlos Vinicius on a season-long loan from Benfica, Mourinho had called Slimani, who managed just 13 goals in 47 games for the Foxes after becoming the club’s record singing in 2016, when he joined for £29 million.

In an interview with L’Equipe, Slimani explained how he managed to return to his best form, after his failed spell at Leicester.

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“At the start, I was the typical scorer. I changed my way of playing a bit in Turkey [2018-2019, in Fenerbahce], where I had to drop out to get balls,” Slimani said.

“And then with Wissam [Ben Yedder] in Monaco [2019-2020], it worked well like that too, even if [Robert] Moreno [the coach, arrived in December 2019] chose to only play with a striker last year, so to put me on the bench.

“Mourinho then called me at this time for Tottenham. It is a form of reward. You tell yourself that some see your efforts.”

Islam Slimani was wanted by Spurs after getting his career back on track (Image: Getty Images)

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