‘I don’t understand’ – Southgate responds to reports of Mourinho rift over Kane fitness

Gareth Southgate says he “does not understand” the fuss surrounding Harry Kane’s fitness as he insists that the striker is “fully fit” following a public exchange with Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.

Prior to the international break, Mourinho stated his hopes that Southgate would not overuse Kane, with the England boss saying that Mourinho should back that up by resting Kane ahead of the Euros next summer.

The 27-year-old striker has been dealing with muscle fatigue and was not involved in a friendly match against Wales last Thursday.

He then started on the bench against Belgium on Sunday before replacing Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the 66th minute.

Southgate has stated that Kane is due to start against Denmark despite Mourinho’s concerns, which the England boss doesn’t necessarily understand.

“I don’t really understand the story because he has been fully fit since the end of last week, just before the last game,” Southgate said. 

“He would have started the last game but he hadn’t had enough training time really. He was fine during the game so he is fit and I didn’t understand the story.

“So where that is coming from is not to do with the conversations that we have been having with Spurs medically and it is not affecting us in the camp. He is fit, he hasn’t had an injury. 

“He had delayed muscle soreness [that stopped him training initially] but there hasn’t been an injury at any point.

“We don’t risk players, I said this before the camp. My priority is always the welfare of players, we never risk the player and we have ended up having on very rare occasions injuries during matches. 

“That happens. But we have never lost a player through injury because of training loading and we pride ourselves on looking after the players.

“We want them fit and sharp as possible for the games. Our issue with Harry before Sunday’s game was just to be able to perform at the highest level. Now he has trained for a few days, it is not an issue.”

England are set to face Denmark on Wednesday before Kane returns to Spurs ahead of Sunday’s clash with West Ham.

After that, Tottenham will look ahead to the start of the Europa League as Kane, Mourinho and Co. play host to LASK in London on October 22.

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