Mauricio Pochettino is clearly aware of speculation linking Eric Dier with Manchester United.
The England international has played a confused role at Spurs this season, sometimes operating as a centre-back and sometimes in his more familiar position as a holding midfielder.
The Sun reported yesterday that United were plotting a £40million bid for the versatile 23-year-old, but Pochettino is having none of it.
However difficult a season he may be having, the Tottenham manager has encouraged the former Sporting Lisbon man to remember where he came from.
Pochettino told a press conference:
“Analyse Eric Dier, from where he came. He came from Portugal, but I think people are a bit confused sometimes. Before, he was in Everton and then he went to Portugal with Sporting, and we signed him as a player with potential.
“We provided all the tools to be a Premier League player. My first game in charge against West Ham, he started as a centre back, next to Kaboul. Kyle Naughton got a red card, he moved to full-back and scored.
“That season, he played like a full-back, like a centre back but never as a midfielder. Then in the summer, we were looking for a midfielder and we had plenty of options (to buy one), but I decided to play Eric in midfield.
“I created a system that he felt comfortable in. He played like a midfielder without the ball, but with the ball he was a third centre back.”
Mourinho was thought to be eyeing Dier as a potential replacement for Michael Carrick, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
Yet, while Spurs allowed Carrick to move to Old Trafford 11 years ago, they are unlikely to be so compliant these days.
There’s also every chance that Dier would be giving up Champions League football were he to make the switch, with United stunted in fifth place.