Tottenham are hopeful that Troy Parrott will commit his future to the club by signing a new long-term contract next month.
Talks between Spurs and the 17-year-old Republic of Ireland international are progressing well and a deal could be reached after Parrott turns 18 on February 4.
The Dublin-born striker, who has 18 months remaining on his current deal, has attracted interest from German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund but Jose Mourinho is desperate to keep him at Spurs.
On Friday, the Spurs manager urged Parrott to commit to the club but said it was “too soon” to consider him a direct replacement for Harry Kane, who is expected to be sidelined until March with a torn hamstring.
“I think [it is] too soon,” Mourinho said. “I think he needs time. Having minutes and being involved is one thing. Another thing is what you call the direct replacement. To be that he needs to work.
“The next step for him is to sign a new contract at the club long-term and then it is for everyone to decide what is best for is development. In this club we care about our players. It is also to find the best pathway to develop.
“Some minutes will arrive like it happened against Burnley, and step by step but [we are] not in a situation where we see Harry Kane is injured and Parrott is the man to resolve our problems.”
Unlike his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho is happy to allow Spurs’ best young players to gain experience out on loan but he added: “He’s 17 years old. I don’t think at the age of 17 it’s good for you to go on loan to a Championship club or to go abroad to another country. [It’s] one thing if you need that step when you are 19 or 20, another thing is when you are 17.
“When you are 17 you are a baby. At 17 you just have to be in your father club where you feel at home, where you are at home, where you train and develop with the first team.”
Mourinho added that Parrott, who made his first senior start in the League Cup defeat at Colchester under Pochettino before a brief cameo against Burnley last month, could “possibly” play some part in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round clash at Middlesbrough.
The teenager made his Republic of Ireland debut against New Zealand in November and has been talked-up by boss Mick McCarthy.
Mourinho confirmed on Friday that 20-year-old defender Japhet Tanganga, who also made his senior debut at Colchester, is another player in contract talks with the club. The centre-half’s current deal expires at the end of the season but Mourinho said: “I presume that Tanganga will be a player to sign a new contract.”
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