Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has said chairman Daniel Levy knows his transfer thoughts “very well” as he apologized for “creating disturbance” with an interview he gave to Italian media.
Speaking to Sky Italy this week, Conte said it had been a difficult January transfer window for Tottenham, which had “weakened” the squad numerically.
After missing out on deals for Adama Traore and Luis Diaz, Spurs only brought in Juventus pair Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur on Deadline Day.
On the same day, Conte saw the club’s two most expensive players – Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso – leave on loan, with Dele Alli joining Everton for £ 40m and Bryan Gil going to Valencia less than six months after his £ 25m arrival from Sevilla .
Asked to clarify his comments he made in the interview with Sky Italyhe said: “They asked me about the January transfer window and if I was happy, and I said the club did the best that they could do.
“We lost four important players for Tottenham, because these players that we sent away on loan, Tottenham paid a lot of money for. When you pay a lot of money, we’re talking about important players for the club.
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“[We need] To pay attention in the future because we need players to be used to playing in this league.
“In my last interview, I said numerically [Spurs are weaker] when you lose four players – and I repeat, important players for Tottenham because they spent a lot of money – and you sign two players.
“If before I had 20-30 players, now I have 18 players and numerically you could be a bit weaker.
“Then I also said about [Dejan] Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, as a squad we are more complete.
“I think I was very clear, but I don’t understand why someone wants to try to create a problem between me. But not also me, but also in the past, because I read the story in the past of this club and [they] create a lot of problems between the coach and the chairman and the club.
“The chairman knows very well my thoughts. It’s not important for me to go to the media and to speak to the media.
“If I have to tell him something, he knows very well that I’ll go and speak with him.
“Sorry, but I think that I created a bit of disturbance and this type of situation, especially because I had an interview with Italian media.
“It means that from now the club don’t want [me to] speak to Italian media because maybe the translation is not so clear with my thoughts. “
Tottenham go to Manchester City on Saturday, live on Sky Sportslooking to avoid a fourth consecutive league defeat.
The losses against Chelsea, Southampton and Wolves have left Spurs seven points off the top four.
Asked if he was happy at the north London club, Conte, whose deal expires in the summer of 2023, responded: “I’m enjoying my time at Tottenham and I’m enjoying working with these players.
“We have four months until the end of the season. We have to try to do our best to finish in the best place possible in this league, and then we’ll see.”
Storm Eunice has forced Spurs’ travel plans to change ahead of the trip to Man City.
Tottenham will have center-back Eric Dier back after a lengthy absence with a thigh injury.
Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga are still injured while there is a confirmed coronavirus case in the camp.
Is history repeating itself with Conte?
Sky Sports’ Joe Shread:
Antonio Conte’s suggestion that Tottenham actually weakened their squad last month through their transfer dealings may come as a surprise, given they landed the exciting Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Italian giants Juventus, while the four first-team players who left the club were far from regular starters under the head coach.
But when you look at Conte’s history, it becomes clear he is not afraid to speak out against his club on the subject of transfers, and that this is something that has caused friction between him and his paymasters in the past.
At Chelsea, Conte wanted to capitalize on their impressive Premier League title in his first season in charge by signing Romelu Lukaku, Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
But when the players that actually arrived were Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta, the Italian chose to make it very clear that he was not the one behind those signings, saying: “From the summer, the club decides every single player that comes here. For sure, I don’t have a big impact on the transfer market. “
Conte’s statement that Spurs need “players with a lot of experience” if they want to “grow faster” will also ring a bell for Chelsea supporters. The head coach’s final transfer window at Stamford Bridge in January 2018 turned into a month-long pursuit of a variety of veteran forwards in a bid to find an old head to provide reliable back-up for Morata.
In no particular order, Conte wanted Fernando Llorente, Edin Dzeko and Alexis Sanchez, before eventually ending up with Olivier Giroud. But despite eventually getting a striker to satisfy their coach’s demands, Chelsea became increasingly frustrated by Conte’s public grumblings and it came as no surprise that he was replaced at the end of the campaign following a season of discontent.
How Suarez, Cavani helped Bentancur make ‘dream’ PL move to Spurs
Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur exclusively tells Sky Sports at about how Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani helped him to make his “dream” move to the Premier League.
Bentancur joined Spurs from Juventus for £ 21.5m on Deadline Day and he reveals he is fulfilling a lifelong dream.
“Playing in the Premier League is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Spurs’ new midfielder exclusively tells Sky Sports via an interpreter, as he continues to perfect his English. “I consider the Premier League to be the best league in the world.
“It certainly has been a real dream of mine to play in this league. I used to watch English football and the Premier League as a kid growing up.
“I’m very happy to be here and to arrive at Tottenham, it’s a massive club.
“Things have been going really well. I’ve had the help of all of my team-mates and all the backroom staff, so I’m excited to get going.”
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