All you need to know about Premier League target Dusan Vlahovic
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Tottenham Hotspur have 18 days to prove to Antonio Conte that they can match his ambition and prevent a repeat of his Inter Milan exit. Spurs put in another feeble performance in their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday, and it is clear that the squad is in desperate need of reinforcement.
Conte suddenly left Inter after guiding the club to their first Serie A title in 11 years last season.
He departed due to frustrations with his financial backing, especially after Romelu Lukaku’s £97.5million departure.
Spurs’ capture of Conte was considered a coup in November, but he would have been assured early signings, starting this month.
However, the north London outfit have remained silent on the transfer front so far and now have less than three weeks to act.
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The Telegraph report Conte outlined a right-wing-back, midfielder and forward as his priorities in a meeting with Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici on Monday.
Paratici has been in talks over Adama Traore, who Wolves value at £20m, but Spurs would prefer a loan with an obligation to buy in the summer.
There doesn’t seem to be much movement elsewhere, though, in a month where the club must prove they can match Conte’s ambition.
The successful Italian is only under contract until 2023, and likely won’t hesitate to walk away if he sees little hope of moulding the squad to his liking.
Conte has already hinted that Spurs need to match his ambition and vision if they are to forge a successful partnership.
He said: “I’m open to improving the Tottenham situation, and I decided to sign a contract with this club.
“I’m available to give my opinion, to give my vision, and it won’t be a problem for me, a short contract – only one year to go [2023 expiry].
“It won’t be a problem, and I don’t want to commit to clubs for many years because I understand the salary is an important salary for the club, and I have to deserve this type of contract.
“It’s OK because Tottenham has to be sure 120 per cent to continue to work with me. I’m happy to work with this group because they are giving me great availability.
“But at the same time, you know the club has to know my vision, has to know my opinion about the situation and especially what is our ambition.”
If Conte receives no signings this month, Spurs will firmly be outsiders in the race for a top-four finish.
But with a few additions, he will be confident of guiding the club back into the Champions League at the first time of asking ahead of what many will hope is a bright tenure.
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