Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte fails to give assurances over Tottenham future

Jamie Spencer
Antonio Conte recently hinted at not being entirely satisfied with Tottenham's January transfer business
Antonio Conte recently hinted at not being entirely satisfied with Tottenham's January transfer business / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has failed to give assurances that he will remain with the club beyond the end of the season, following on from a recent interview in Italy in which he appeared to criticise last month’s recruitment decisions and strategy.

Spurs let Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil leave on the final day of the January transfer window. But only Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski arrived as replacements, neither of whom Conte considers to be ‘ready’ for immediate success.

In the interview with Sky Italia, the former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter coach revealed that he believes Spurs could now be ‘weakened on paper’ as a result of their January business.

He also said: “It is inevitable that if you want to grow faster and if you want to be competitive more quickly you need players with a lot of experience because they also lead to an increase in experience in your team. But then again, the vision of the club I realised is this and will continue to be this.”

It has since been reported that Conte’s comments have caused confusion among Spurs officials, who thought he was aware that January was primarily about clearing out high-earning fringe players. Concerns are focused on the summer, with transfer business potentially crucial to whether Conte, a serial winner at multiple clubs over the last decade, is prepared to stay on.

Facing the media on Friday, Conte didn’t provide the assurances that fans would be have been hoping, leaving his future at Spurs beyond this season rather ambiguous.

"I always said I’m enjoying my time with Tottenham, enjoying working with these players," he said. "We have four months to the end of this season and we have to try to do our best. And then we’ll see."

Despite pledging his short-term commitment for the remainder of this campaign, his words worryingly leave open the possibility that he could walk away from the club in summer if he is not satisfied that he and his employers share the same vision.

As things stand, Conte’s contract in north London only runs until the end of the 2022/23 campaign after agreeing a short-term deal when he arrived to replace Nuno Espirito Santo in November.

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