TOTTENHAM’S new manager hunt plunged even deeper into chaos as talks with Antonio Conte broke down.
The North Londoners turned to the Italian after failing to prise old boss Mauricio Pochettino away from Paris Saint-Germain.
But Spurs are now in limbo after negotiations with Conte were halted – with both parties far apart on a number of important issues, including his £15million a year salary demands.
The Italian, 51, also wants a massive transfer budget, insisting he could not bring silverware to N17 without a squad overhaul and expensive quality signings.
But Tottenham are concerned about his financial demands.
They are also “wary” of his reluctance to blood young talent from their acclaimed academy.
Conte, who guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in 2017, is a free agent after leaving Inter Milan last month, having led them to the Serie A crown.
He is keen on joining Tottenham but is unwilling to put his reputation on the line.
That is unless he gets the financial support from the club’s chairman Daniel Levy and owner Joe Lewis.
After sacking Jose Mourinho in April, Levy vowed to get back to Spurs’ DNA by appointing a manager who plays entertaining football and gives homegrown kids a chance.
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Writing in the matchday programme ahead of Spurs’ 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa last month, Levy said: “We shall focus on the recruitment of a new head coach.
“We are acutely aware of the need to select someone whose values reflect those of our great club and return to playing football with the style for which we are known – free-flowing, attacking and entertaining – whilst continuing to embrace our desire to see young players flourish from our academy alongside experienced talent.”
Before adding: “I have said it many times and I will say it again – everything we do is in the long-term interests of the club.
“I have always been and will continue to be ambitious for our club and its fans.
“As a club we have been so focused on delivering the stadium and dealing with the impact of the pandemic, that I feel we lost sight of some key priorities and what’s truly in our DNA.”