In pictures: Southampton v Tottenham
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Tottenham are being ‘frustrated’ in their attempts to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, according to reports. Antonio Conte has entered his first transfer window as Spurs boss and is likely to make several improvements.
The Italian replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in November and has already improved the club’s form.
Spurs are unbeaten in all eight Premier League matches under Conte and are through to the semi-final of the EFL Cup.
Despite their positive results, Conte is still known to want to reinvigorate his squad with a couple of additions.
The 52-year-old has adopted his preferred 3-5-2 formation since arriving and a couple of positions need strengthening.
Centre-backs, midfielders and forwards have all been linked. One of the midfield targets is understood to be Milan’s Kessie, but a deal has apparently hit a stumbling block involving Tanguy Ndombele.
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According to Corriere Della Sera, Spurs wanted to complete a player-swap for Kessie and had Ndombele as the player in mind to switch.
However, the Serie A side have ‘rejected’ the offer for two reasons.
The first is that they would rather keep the 25-year-old Kessie until the end of the season, even if it means losing him for free when his contract expires in June. The Ivory Coast star has scored five goals from midfield this term.
Secondly, Milan are put off by Ndombele’s reported £8million per year salary.
It is the first blow of Spurs’ January transfer window. Conte expects to have further talks with the club’s hierarchy over targets.
“My expectation is to speak with my club and then to tell them my opinions,” Conte said on Tuesday as his side prepare to face his former club Chelsea in the EFL Cup.
“This is only my expectation and then the club knows after I speak to the club, they will make the decisions they want to make.
“I repeat I’m a manager and I’m in a position where I have to make evaluations.
“It’s happened and now I’m waiting to speak with the club to tell my opinion that the club has to take the best decision for the present, for the future and this situation is very simple.”
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Conte has also said that Covid will not affect the club’s transfer business.
Some other Premier League bosses have suggested that players will not be signed if they are not fully vaccinated.
“Covid or no Covid, if you have to do something, you have to do. Not because there’s Covid or not Covid,” he added.
“On this topic, we’ll try to take the best decision with the club and see what we can do.”
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