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Mourinho: If Eriksen's decision is to leave, he has to leave with his head up

  /  autty

Jose Mourinho says Christian Eriksen can leave with his head held high if he is to sign Inter Milan, after ignoring jeers from supporters to help Tottenham beat Middlesbrough.

After securing passage to the FA Cup's fourth round, Mourinho highlighted Eriksen for putting in a 'professional' performance, despite his name being booed when read out over the tannoy.

Eriksen is the subject of interest from Antonio Conte's Inter but started last night.

Mourinho said afterwards that the Dane has to ensure he gives his all for Tottenham until his exit is confirmed: 'He played very well, very professional, which is what I expect from him.

'If his decision is to leave, then I think he has to leave with his head up. Fans, it's always to respect, we have to respect, but the boy did it for us today.'

This victory, courtesy of goals from Argentinian duo Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela, means Tottenham will travel to face Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton in the next round.

That will see Mourinho cross paths with Andrew Sparkes, the Southampton goalkeeping coach who he branded an 'idiot' after their 1-0 loss at St Mary's Stadium on New Year's Day.

Asked whether he sees the FA Cup as a chance for revenge, Mourinho said: 'They are on fire, winning matches, home and away, great results.

'They were in the dark zone and now they are shining. Credit for that.'

Meanwhile, Tottenham are close to confirming Gedson Fernandes as Mourinho's first signing. He is set to join from Benfica on an 18-month loan deal with an option to buy.

Jorge Mendes was believed to be in attendance at their FA Cup third-round replay with Middlesbrough last night, with the Portuguese middle-man working on the Fernandes deal.

After this loss, Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate said: 'I hate getting beat but when you get beat, go down with a fight and we did that.'