Antonio Conte has stated that he will try and have a meeting with Tottenham to see if January transfers will be possible.
Appointed in the hotseat at the start of November following Nuno Espirito Santo’s departure, the January transfer market will give the head coach his first opportunity to really stamp his mark on the Tottenham squad.
Fabio Paratici did make some key changes during the summer to the playing squad but it’s clear to see that more work still needs to be done if the team are to really kick on and challenge towards the top on a regular basis once again.
Recently hit by a Covid outbreak at the club that saw the team go two weeks without a game, Conte has admitted that the situation stopped them from holding a meeting to discuss transfers but he is hoping to have discussions rather soon.
“Honestly at this moment I cannot answer that,” he revealed. “Now my focus is to work with the players to improve the situation. Then for sure we will have a meeting with the club to try understand if there is the possibility to improve the situation in terms of transfers.
“But now i think it is good to be focused on the pitch because we have a very important game against Crystal Palace.
“Don’t forget they beat Tottenham 3-0 earlier in the season and we have to make sure we prepare for this game very well because we want to get the three points.”
When pressed if he has spoken with the club about potential transfers, he added: “No we have not been able to discuss this because of the Covid situation at the club.
“But for sure we will have a meeting. I tend to exploit situations and I think at the moment the only way to improve Tottenham’s situation is to work hard with the squad I have got and improve my players.
“Then if there is the possibility to improve the team in the transfer window we will try to do our best to improve the level of Tottenham.”
As well as discussing potential incomings and outgoings at the club, Tottenham also need to make a decision on Hugo Lloris’ contract sooner rather than later.
Out of contract at the end of the season, the World Cup winner will be able to talk to foreign clubs about a pre-contract agreement for 2022/23 as soon as the transfer window opens for business.
Given Lloris’ contract status does open up the real possibility of seeing him agree a deal elsewhere, Conte was asked if he’s concerned about the current situation.
“Hugo is our captain and a player that played for Tottenham for many years and we are all happy to have him in our team, squad, dressing room, and for sure he is a point of reference for the other players and Hugo knows very well what I think about him and what the club think about him,” explained the Italian.
“Now we will see. But Hugo will not be never be a problem for Tottenham.”
At the other end of the pitch for Tottenham, Harry Kane was in the headlines last weekend after he wasn’t given a red card for a challenge on Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson despite a VAR check.
One of a number of talking points from the match with some contentious decisions, the England captain has come in for a bit of criticism in the process but his boss has stated that he has “great respect” for him.
“I think that we have to….Harry is very professional and when you are a world-class striker for sure in a positive or negative way, the people speak about him,” said Conte.
“The best is to face the situation is to find in every moment a good balance especially for example you are not scoring and for sure you are under fire and there is a lot of criticism about you.
“Harry is a player, a world-class striker and it is good to face this type of situation. When there are positive situation and then there are negative situation.
“The most important thing is that he gives me everything when he plays and I am happy as his commitment is top in every game and if he scores we are happy, but if he does not score then the most important thing is that his commitment is top and he works for the team. And for this reason I have great respect for him.”
Indicating in his pre-match press conference ahead of Crystal Palace that he believes the recent Premier League managers’ meeting was a waste of time, the Tottenham boss was asked about what needs to change and what he suggested in the meeting but he made it clear he prefers to use his time wisely on the training ground rather than “waste words”.
“I don’t want to suggest anything because I think that I waste time. We waste words,” stated the Italian. “I am not used to speaking if I understand that nothing can happen. I prefer to use the time to work and improve my players.”
From the latest transfer news to those glorious wins in north London and beyond! There might even be a laugh or two too.
Pressed on what his squad think of the situation with the fixtures and Covid amid talk of players maybe going on strike or taking action, Conte opened up on the past fortnight at Hotspur Way and the lack of help they received.
“We are all professional. Two weeks ago we faced a really bad situation. Don’t forget that during a really bad situation, we lost the Conference League. No one tried to do something. Not UEFA, not the Premier League And then we have to speak and I have to suggest, what?” he outlined.
“We are all professionals and if we have the possibility to have the training session, we have to do it, to continue to work very hard.
“If they decide to play, we have to play. Because we are professional. But for sure in the last two weeks no one helped us.”