Mourinho urges England counterpart Southgate to protect Kane

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said on Wednesday that Harry Kane would play in their Europa League last-16 second leg against Dinamo Zagreb and urged England boss Gareth Southgate to avoid playing the striker in all three World Cup qualifiers.

Spurs lead the Croatian side 2-0 from the first leg and Mourinho said he was not going to gamble on their progress to the quarterfinals by benching their top goal scorer.

Kane has already made over 40 appearances this season despite missing a few games due to an ankle injury and Mourinho urged caution with England playing San Marino, Albania and Poland during the international break later this month.

"Kane is going to play. The game is open and it's an important game so he plays for us," Mourinho told reporters.

"I cannot do Gareth's work. They have good communication I hope between them without me in the middle, they can find some compromise to protect the player a little bit."

Mourinho confirmed Son Heung-Min would miss the clash after he was withdrawn in the loss at Arsenal with a thigh problem and said he would not play for South Korea even though he was named in their squad.

"If a player is injured, it doesn't matter if it's a friendly or an official match," Mourinho added.

"If we get to next week and he's injured and we can prove that to the Korean football association, then what can they do? If he can't play for the club, he can't play for his country." – Reuters