Leicester City striker Islam Slimani has revealed that Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho was keen on signing him in January.
The Algerian international was on loan at AS Monaco at the time and his form caught the attention of the Portuguese.
Spurs were in dire need of a striker 10 months ago after Harry Kane sustained a long-term on New Year’s day against Southampton, but they ended the winter transfer window without signing one.
It proved costly as they were knocked out of the League Cup and Champions League, but the enforced break afterwards came handy as the England international returned to help fire them to a top-eight finish, securing them Europa League football for 2020-21.
Tottenham have since brought in a back-up striker Mourinho always desired in Carlos Vinicius, with the Brazilian joining from Benfica on a season-long loan last week.
They might not have had to, had they signed Slimani, though, and the Leicester striker revealed that Mourinho personally reached out to him on phone to orchestrate a move.
“In the space of six months, I went from the nightmare at Fenerbahçe to a phone call from José Mourinho who wanted to sign me,” the 32-year-old told France Football.
“It shows that I worked well. Knowing that your profile is appreciated gives you strength and confidence.”
He ended 2019-20 with nine goals in 18 Ligue 1 appearances, and will now remain with Leicester until at least January after failing to seal an exit yesterday.
Slimani bagged 27 goals in 33 Primeira Liga games for Sporting Lisbon in 2015-16, and while he hasn’t reached those heights since, it seems Mourinho fancied his chances of getting him to start scoring regularly again after he impressed again at Monaco.