Antonio Conte says he delivered the plain truth to Daniel Levy at a meeting to discuss Tottenham’s transfer business in January and it is up to the president to follow through on his recommendations.
Levy returned from the Bahamas over the weekend, where he spent time with Spurs owner Joe Lewis and sat down with Conte and soccer CEO Fabio Paratici on Monday.
Conte, who said the club had opened talks with Hugo Lloris about a contract extension – the captain’s contract expires in June – has carried out a comprehensive assessment of the squad he inherited from Nuno Espírito Santo in early November.
Conte believes he needs surgery and has not been slow to highlight how the club has fallen to a mediocre level, seeing an open gap with teams like Chelsea, which the Spurs host in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, the second leg on Wednesday for the night. . Chelsea is 2-0 up.
Conte feels he needs a central midfielder, a midfielder, a right-back and a substitute forward and, while accepting that January is a difficult window and that summer is a more realistic time for a reform, he wants to see progress before the end of the month.
The manager has a keen interest in the Wolves’ Adama Traoré, who can play either right-back or right-back, and would like to meet Internazionale central midfielder Stefan de Vrij, with whom he worked at San Siro. De Vrij, 30 in February, doesn’t seem to fit Levy’s desired profile for signings. Spurs have been linked to the signing of Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, although they may prefer to wait until the summer when his contract ends.
“When you have the possibility to speak with the owner [Levy] and the sports director … with Paratici I have the possibility to talk every day … but talking with our owner was important ”, said Conte. “Also because I like to be honest and always tell the truth. You know I don’t like to tell a good lie to keep a good relationship or to be too soft or too polite. It was good to tell the truth and it was a good meeting.
“I asked the club for time to do my evaluation. They asked me after a month to have a meeting but I said: ‘No. I prefer to have another month to make the correct evaluation. To show me who deserves to stay here. Now the situation is very clear and I was pleased to have this conversation with the owner.
“Now I only have one way: it’s on the court and in training sessions every day … to improve the level of my players. So, the club knows the situation and, if they want to help me in another way, I thank them ”.
Conte expressed confidence that a deal could be reached for Lloris to stay, which put a bit more pressure on the board.
“I think they have started talking,” Conte said. “You know very well what I think of Hugo. He is an important player and they are sure to find a solution to keep him playing for Tottenham. I am sure I am very confident that this situation is positive ”.
Conte reported that Cristian Romero had “participated a little” in Tuesday’s practice and was “very close” to returning after a hamstring tear. He added that he is still counting on Steven Bergwijn, who is also close to recovering from injury. Ajax wants to the extreme, but the clubs are at a distance in their evaluations.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism