Antonio Conte ‘disturbed’ by coverage of Tottenham’s transfer window dealings

Antonio Conte File Photo
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte says he is “disturbed” at the coverage of an interview he gave with Italian TV and does not understand why people are trying to create a problem between him and the club.

The 52-year-old said in a rights holders broadcast interview with Sky Sports Italia that his squad was “on paper weakened” after the January transfer window where the club signed Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur and allowed Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil to leave.

Conte also spoke about the club’s transfer policy and how it will take time to bear fruit and the club has received plenty of negative coverage as a result this week.

There were definite translation issues given Conte gave the interview in his native language and the Italian came out swinging at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s daunting trip to Manchester City.

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He insisted he does not need to use the media as he tells chairman Daniel Levy his thoughts, while also revealing the club have asked him not to do any more interviews with Italian media.

“I don’t understand why someone wants to try to create a problem with me,” he said. “Not only me but also in the past.

“I read stories in the past about this club and it creates a problem with 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 speak to the media. If I have to speak with him, I go to speak with him. Sorry but I was a bit disturbed by this situation, especially because I had an interview with the Italian media.

“It means the club now doesn’t want me to speak to Italian media because the translation was not so clear with my thoughts.”

When asked by Sky Italia what he made of the transfer window he replied: “What happened in January is not easy. Four players left in January. Four important players for Tottenham, two have arrived. So even numerically instead of reinforcing yourself you may have, on paper, weakened.”

Conte clarified his position, insisting he was only talking numerically, rather than in terms of quality.

“I’ve already answered that. During the interview after the transfer window, after January ended, they asked me about the club, if I was happy, and I said the club did the best that the club could do,” he said.

“We lost four players and I said important players for Tottenham. Because these players that we sent away on loan, Tottenham paid a lot of money. When you spend a lot of money, it means we are talking about important players for the club.

“To pay attention to the future because we need players used to playing in this league. And in my last interview, I said numerically, when you lost four players, important players for Tottenham, I repeat because they spent a lot of money, and you sign two players.

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“If I had 20 players and now I have 18 players numerically, you can be a bit weaker. Numerically. Then I said also with Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, as a squad we are more complete. I think I was very, very clear.”

There has already been plenty of opinion on whether Conte is happy at the club, with Ian Wright suggesting that he “regrets” joining Spurs.

But Conte retorted: “I always said I’m enjoying my time with Tottenham, enjoying working with these players. I always said this.

“Then we have four months at the end of this season and we have to try to do our best to finish in the best place possible in this league. And then we’ll see.”

A trip to Manchester City will do little to lighten the mood, with Storm Eunice forcing their travel plans to change.

Spurs, who are aiming to avoid a run of four successive Premier League defeats, will have Eric Dier back after a lengthy absence with a thigh injury.

Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga are still injured while there is a confirmed Covid case in the camp.

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