Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has played down speculation linking left-back Danny Rose with a move to Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho expressed interest in Rose over the summer after the Englishman publicly criticised Spurs’ lack of ambition and trophies.
And he has failed to recover his place in Pochettino’s starting XI, making just one Premier League start since returning from injury last month and missing out on a place in the squad altogether for the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend.
But Pochettino, speaking soon after the defeat at the Emirates, was quick to wave away any talk of Rose wanting to leave the club.
“I think you are trying to find some issue that is not an issue,” he said.
“We analysed the player and we said to the player that we believed it was better to play another player, and (Rose) needs to wait. Like different players that are out, like (Georges-Kevin) Nkoudou who was out of the squad today.
“It’s not the same if you are training and trying to get fit. One thing is you can play and another thing is to be fully fit to play and to cope with 90 minutes.”
The omens aren’t looking good for Rose. This is a man who, over the summer, made very clear his desire to see Spurs challenging the very best and competing for silverware.
But Pochettino’s continued preference for Ben Davies at left back, combined with their early League Cup exit and continued failure to beat big teams away from home, may indeed convince Rose, now 27, that his best chance to thrive once again would be elsewhere.
And with Mourinho keen on securing a reliable left-back over the January transfer window, you can’t help but feel as if Rose, who has voiced a desire to play up north, would be tempted by an offer at the very least.