Mauricio Pochettino has stopped just short of accusing Jose Mourinho of tapping up Eric Dier. Dier was linked with a move to Manchester United for most of the summer, and was considered an alternative for the midfield spot eventually filled by Nemanja Matic. According to Pochettino, Mourinho had a long chat with Dier after Tottenham lost at Old Trafford last December. The two men have known each other for a long time - a godson of Mourinho’s coached Dier in Portugal - but that friendly chat was followed up by some firmer inquiries to Dier’s agents over the summer.
Understandably, Dier had his head turned; hesaw a chance to play for a bigger club on bigger wages, and in his preferred position. His form suffered as a result, and Pochettino says that Mourinho’s less than subtle interest put the player in “a compromising position.”
Anthony Martial has escaped further punishment for his kick out against Tommy Smith during the first half of Manchester United’s loss to Huddersfield Town. Martial, who had a frustrating afternoon like the rest of his teamates, appeared to kick out at Smith after a series of rough tackles from the Huddersfield defender. According to ESPN FC, “the FA has reviewed footage of Martial's apparent kick but decided it did not warrant further investigation or referral to the disciplinary panel.” Much ado about nothing, either way.
Manchester United are interested in signing Benfica’s 16 year-old attacker Umaro Embalo, according to a report on ESPN. United staff apparently made the most of their trip to Lisbon last week, casting an eye over the highly-rated teenager as well as 17-year-old forward Joao Felix. If that interest develops into anything genuine, look out for Jorge Mendes to get involved somehow.
Scott McTominay has been rewarded for his development with a new contract, tying him to the club until 2021. After making his debut under Jose Mourinho last season, McTominay started this season as part of the senior squad, and has made brief appearances, including his Champions League debut. The youngster is still some way away from genuinely challenging for a a first team place, but if United’s midfield injuries continue to pile up, expect to see him make his first start of the season soon.