L’Équipe report that French international central midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho have made up over the last three months, to the point that the ex-Lyon man is happy in principle to continue under the Portuguese boss’ orders for the 2020/21 campaign.
In a dramatic reversal of fortunes, Ndombele looks poised to remain with Spurs, despite going to Mourinho’s office 3 months ago to explain to him that he had no intention of ever playing for him again. Since then, a number of exchanges have taken place between the two men, facilitated by club chairman Daniel Levy, who has always wanted to retain the French midfielder.
Levy has worked to grind down the more fiery aspects of both men’s characters to clean up the bad blood. In September, Mourinho and Ndombele made concrete steps towards a reconciliation. Upon the return from holidays, the duo met to speak frankly about their different points of view on the situation. The newspaper describes this meeting as “not particularly warm” but professional and tending towards stabilising the relationship.
After a difficult first year in the Premier League, riddled with fitness issues, Ndombele has had a change of heart: from being in a place of wanting to exit to telling people privately that he “does not want to flop” at Tottenham. He thinks that his greater understanding of both the club and the Premier League will allow him to perform remarkably better this season to the point that he can be in contention for the Euros next summer.
Back in August, Mourinho was still in a position of wanting to get rid of the player, having listened to all the offers that came in for him. For example, when Inter Milan offered €40m plus central defender Milan Skriniar for Ndombele last month, Mourinho was not against the deal. Daniel Levy was.
But more recently, about a fortnight ago, when Juventus offered Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi in exchange for the ex-Lyon man, Mourinho was not open to it.
With renewed faith and barring a dramatic u-turn, Mourinho and Ndombele’s relationship is heading into a new, positive, chapter… will it last?