England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed he has received an apology from Jose Mourinho after the pair exchanged barbs over the management of Harry Kane’s workload.
The Tottenham talisman has begun the new campaign in tremendous goalscoring form having now fully recovered from the serious hamstring injury that ruled him out for over two months last season.
With England facing three matches in the space of seven days, Mourinho had urged Southgate to take a cautious approach with the 27-year-old, but the Three Lions boss reminded his counterpart that the handling of Kane’s workload was a two-way street.
Mourinho pointedly told Southgate, who he referred to as ‘Gary’, that Kane would play no part in a single minute of any friendly match this season ahead of last Sunday’s win over Manchester United.
Responding ahead of Thursday’s match against Wales, Southgate said: ‘I have to say that he messaged me anyway to apologise.
‘I knew because he has called me Gary before, in a news conference. I had no issue with that at all – I said there is only one Gareth (Bale) he needs to get right and he will score all the goals for him this year.
‘In terms of the players, we have to look after all the players. I have been a player and I didn’t like it when managers took a risk with me but they never did. We don’t want players missing any football – I’m not prepared to risk players’ welfare.”
Southgate also confirmed Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho will miss Thursday’s friendly against Wales. The trio breached Covid-19 guidelines when they reportedly gathered for a surprise birthday party for Chelsea striker Abraham and are yet to join up with Southgate’s 30-man squad at St George’s Park.
‘I think the players have already accepted they were in the wrong,’ he said. ‘They had broken those lockdown guidelines that were there. I have to be careful being on my moral high-horse when we aren’t in camp with the team.
‘We do have an issue with the Covid guidelines and making sure any players that comes in is as lower risk as possible. We are having to monitor the players, they are being tested today and tomorrow, we have to check for further symptoms. They obviously miss the game v Wales.’