Tottenham boss Antonio Conte reminds Daniel Levy of promise after reaching conclusion

Watford 0-1 Spurs: Match in pictures

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Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has thrown down the gauntlet to chairman Daniel Levy after telling the Spurs supremo that they must discuss incoming transfers in the January transfer window. The Italian took charge in November following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo after just 124 days at the helm.

Conte has quietly transformed Spurs’ form on the pitch, going unbeaten in eight matches since the Italian entered the dugout.

But his side had to wait until the 96th minute to claim a 1-0 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road to kick off 2022 with a win.

Davinson Sanchez’s late header from a Son Heung-min cross handed Conte’s men a dramatic late victory after the game had been delayed due to a fan falling ill in the crowd.

Spurs can leapfrog Arsenal into fourth place in the Premier League if they win the north London derby at home on January 16, with a Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea to navigate through first.

But while Conte prepares his players for a potentially season-defining month of fixtures, the 52-year-old is hoping he can sit down with Levy to discuss potential arrivals this month.

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“We need to talk about new signings, yes,” Conte told Sky Sports Italy.

“When I was appointed, I was told that we would meet to talk about new signings.

“Now I have everything clear [on his current team].”

It is not the first time Conte has addressed the need to strengthen his squad after his criticism following the 2-1 defeat to NS Mura in the Europa Conference League.

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“We need players with the right mentality and with the quality, players that deserve to play for Tottenham and aspire to be competitive, to fight for this shirt, to win something,” said Conte.

“For sure, we need this. I’m making my evaluations and then I’ll speak with the club but I’m ready to continue to work in this way.

“But it’s important that we have to know the situation is not simple.

“It’s not enough to do this [clicks fingers] and change the situation.”

Reports have suggested AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, who is available to sign on a free transfer in June, is one of Conte’s targets as he looks to overhaul his squad.

The Ivory Coast international can now speak to foreign clubs about negotiating a pre-contract agreement and it is believed Spurs, along with Arsenal, are interested in the 25-year-old.

And it seems Conte’s wish is about to be granted by Levy, with the Tottenham chief ready to offer a lucrative contract to convince Kessie to head to London.

Conte was also asked about Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who has been criticised for his comments in an interview suggesting he wants to return to Inter Milan as he is “unhappy” with the situation under Thomas Tuchel.

The Belgian experienced his best goalscoring season under Conte, firing 24 goals in Serie A to help Inter land the Scudetto in 2020-21.

But the former Blues boss gave a blunt response to the idea Lukaku could be reunited with him by making a sensational move across the capital.

When asked about Lukaku’s comments on his future in west London, Conte said: “I feel great affection for him but he’s Chelsea player”.

The pair will go head-to-head soon enough as the teams are set to meet in the Carabao Cup semi-final on January 5.

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