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Tottenham boss Mourinho leaves Man Utd off his list of top-four contenders

The Portuguese thinks tenth placed Arsenal still have a chance of Champions League qualification, but he made no mention of his former employers

Jose Mourinho has omitted Manchester United from his list of candidates for a top-four Premier League finish, while including Sheffield United and Wolves in the final running.

Chelsea sit fourth in the top-flight standings at the moment, two points clear of Chris Wilder’s side with a game in hand.

Tottenham are now only four points adrift of the final Champions League spot, having recovered from a poor start to the season since Mourinho’s appointment as manager back in November.

Everton are a point further back in seventh, with Manchester United and Wolves both remaining six behind Chelsea after playing out a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford just before the winter break.

Arsenal look most likely to miss out on fourth, having slipped to 10th in the table after 25 fixtures, but Mourinho is refusing to rule them out of the race completely.

The Portuguese tactician – who was relieved of his managerial duties at Old Trafford in December 2018 – neglected to mention United when listing the teams he considers to be in contention for fourth, but reserved plenty of praise for Sheffield United and Wolves.

“Wolves and Sheffield United are fighting for the top four, [the managers] they can say no, and I understand if they say no but the reality is that they are. Not just because of the position that they are in the table, but because of the power and quality,” the Spurs boss told Sky Sports.

“They arrive in this situation where, in the eyes of everybody, they should be more than happy, but they are not more than happy. Wolves bought an important player [Daniel Podence for £17m] to try to improve their situation.

“Sheffield bought an important player [Sander Berge for £22m], they beat their record in the market to try to improve their team.

“So it’s not just about Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton. It’s not just about us. It’s also about these two clubs who I have to say [are] fantastic.”

Tottenham are due back in action on Sunday when they take in a trip to Aston Villa, with United and Chelsea set to face off at Stamford Bridge a day later.

Mourinho will then start preparing his players for the Champions League knockout stages.

Spurs play host to RB Leipzig in the first leg of their last-16 tie, as they look to go one better than last season’s final appearance.

The north London club then have a meeting with Chelsea of their own to negotiate three days later, before they welcome Wolves to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on March 1. 

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