Antonio Conte: In profile
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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has already identified four players to sell in January as he prepares to get to work in north London, according to reports. The Italian coach was officially confirmed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s permanent successor on Tuesday after the latter was relieved of his duties last week.
Conte was initially approached about taking over at Spurs prior to Nuno’s arrival in June, but turned the opportunity down after walking away from Inter Milan at the end of last season.
However, the 52-year-old eventually had a change of heart and accepted a new proposal following his predecessor’s untimely dismissal.
He has been given the all-clear to take charge of Spurs after his visa was cleared on Thursday and will be in the dugout for this evening’s match against Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.
It has been reported that Conte is planning for a large-scale overhaul in the January transfer window as he looks to lead the club back into the Premier League’s top four this season.
A number of high-profile stars have been linked with Spurs in recent weeks, including the likes of Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic and AC Milan playmaker Franck Kessie.
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However, it seems as though Conte is also looking to trim his squad in order to make room for new arrivals at the turn of the year.
The former Inter boss is prepared to sell Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura when January rolls around, according to Spanish outlet AS.
The report claims that Spurs have already kicked off their preparations for the mid-season market by hearing Conte’s suggestions for the upcoming transfer window.
He is also said to have earmarked Vlahovic, Kessie, Inter defender Stefan de Vrij and Lazio full-back Manuel Lazzari as four potential targets.
It remains to be seen whether Spurs director Fabio Paratici will be able to meet Conte’s expectations in January by making a handful of tangible improvements in time for the second half of the campaign.
The former recently claimed that he is yet to discuss recruitment with the new manager, insisting that Spurs already have a number of top-class players at their disposal.
“Not at all, because we trust a lot in our players,” said Paratici earlier this week.
“We are focused to be better, like a club, like a team. We haven’t spoken about [new] players, we have to be focused on our team and then we will see.
“I think the team is competitive, we trust in the players, we have very good players so we don’t speak about [new] players now. It is not the right time.”
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Meanwhile, Conte has declared that he will give everything at Spurs to win over the club’s supporters as he looks to end their long and painful wait for a major trophy over the next 18 months.
“Tottenham is an important club in England and around the world,” he told their in-house media team.
“The stadium and training ground are wonderful. The club and Daniel Levy wanted me strongly. I think this is a good opportunity, an honour to accept and become the manager.
“I have seen today the training ground and I wanted to start work. I arrive at a top club.
“These situations push you and increase the desire to work and do something important for the fans of this club.”
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