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Football Reporting


Antonio Conte’s past Tottenham comments show exactly why he wants manager job

Antonio Conte’s talks with Tottenham Hotspur are progressing as the Italian gradually moves closer to joining a club he previously labelled a “great power”.

The Italian faced off with Spurs for two seasons while manager of Chelsea between 2016 and 2018, which was a strong period for the north London club under former manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs were runners-up to Chelsea in the Premier League in 2017 and finished third the following season, with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen firing on all cylinders.

At the time, Conte insisted Tottenham had shed their “underdog” tag to establish themselves as a real contenders in the top flight.

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Conte described Spurs as a "really great power in English football"
Conte described Spurs as a “really great power in English football”

“There is a moment you have to finish considering yourself an underdog. I think this is the right moment,” said Conte in 2017, midway through his Blues tenure.

“Tottenham now is a really great power in English football. This is the third year for them [under Pochettino] and I think it’s the right moment to finish [talking about being] considered [an] underdog and to find his excuse.”

Conte has also managed Italy and Juventus, and clearly feels Spurs are a club with the stature to warrant his services.

He is locked in talks with Tottenham chiefs, with his £8.5million-per-year salary demands proving to be a sticking point.

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Conte has also set out that he will only take the job if Harry Kane stays beyond this summer. The England captain last month told Spurs chiefs he would like to leave this summer in order to fulfil his ambitions of winning silverware.

Meanwhile, Conte, 51, talked up a return to the Premier League last November, while he was still at the helm of Inter Milan.

Will Antonio Conte lead Tottenham to silverware? Have your say in the comments.

Conte told The Daily Telegraph : “I have this season and another year of my contract at Inter.

“I started a project here, and, honestly, I want to continue this project and stay for many years because we are building the bases.

“But, for sure, in my future, I want to come back to England to have another experience because I enjoyed my stay there a lot and to breathe the atmosphere in England.

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“For me, for my family, I’d like to one day come back to England because we lived an incredible experience and we want to continue to have another experience in England.”

Conte won the Premier League in his debut season with Chelsea and added to his success with a triumph in the FA Cup in 2018.

As well as his Serie A triumph with Inter this season, he also won three consecutive Italian top-flight titles with Juventus between 2011 and 2014.

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