Antonio Conte has refused to confirm he will stay on as Tottenham head coach despite securing Champions League football next season, citing a need for talks with the club’s hierarchy over their summer plans.
Spurs sealed fourth spot with a 5-0 win at relegated Norwich City on the Premier League’s final day as a brace each from Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-Min in addition to Harry Kane’s first-half header ensured they finished in fourth place, above north London rivals Arsenal.
Earlier in the season, Conte had openly questioned his suitability for the job as Tottenham’s top-four hopes appeared to be fading but Spurs won eight of their last 11 matches to overhaul Arsenal and reach Europe’s premier club competition.
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Sources have told ESPN that Conte is seeking as many as six summer signings in an ambitious overhaul aiming to turn Tottenham into Premier League title contenders and will sit down with chairman Daniel Levy and managing director Fabio Paratici in a few days to discuss their transfer strategy.
“I am under contract until next summer you know very well I signed for one year and seven months. I enjoyed a lot, my time in Tottenham, because for me it was a big challenge to come in during the season,” he said.
“For a coach like me, it is not simple. It is a big challenge in a club with a fantastic stadium and a training ground and I knew the situation I could find — to give me the opportunity to work in the way I want.
“On the other hand, you know very well that I am a person who has ambition. I like to fight for something important, I like to fight to lift a trophy. For me, this is a trophy and I am very happy. And then we will see.
“I always said to you at the end of the season, we speak with the club and find the best solution for me and for the club. Now I think for me, the club, the players it is good to have three, four, five days’ rest and then the mind will be very clear. You can consider the whole season.
“You have to be very calm before speaking because now [there are] a lot of emotions in my mind, my heart. For this reason it would be very good to rest and then have a good meeting with the club to find the best possible solution.”
Conte has won league titles in Italy and England but claimed finishing fourth was one of his biggest successes as a manager.
“I have to be honest, I think it [finishing fourth] is one of the most important achievements in my career,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s not only when you lift a trophy to be satisfied, I think we reached the maximum level that we dreamed of in November because then the situation was not so good for many reasons. The club changed the coach and with injuries we tried to find the good solution.
“I think we’ve done a really good job and for me this is a big achievement in a league that is very difficult because here you find the best players and best coaches.”
Son shared the Golden Boot with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah after the pair tied on 23 goals and Conte added: “It’s a magnificent achievement for him. I think Sonny felt a bit of pressure to reach this achievement but we are very happy for him. Today we had two targets. The first was to get into the Champions League and then to try to help Sonny to become top scorer and so we’re very happy.”