By Jonathan Veal, PA
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has described speculation linking him with the Paris St Germain job as “fake news”.
Reports emerged in France and Italy earlier this week suggesting Conte was interested in replacing Mauricio Pochettino at the Ligue 1 club.
Conte, who has 12 months left on his contract, has continually refused to commit his long-term future to Spurs, but insists the latest round of speculation is not true.
He said: “Obviously I think that it’s good that other clubs appreciate my work. This is one thing. But the truth is that I don’t like when people try to invest news – only to speak, only to create problems.
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“This is not right, not fair for me, for the clubs involved and for my players.
“Also because we’re really focused on these five games to get a fantastic result for us. I repeat, this type of situation makes me smile.
“But I think that also the people that want to tell something about this have to show respect for all the people involved in this situation, and not invent fake news and tell a lot of lies.
“In this situation, who works in football – players or managers – know very well that at this point of the season, a lot of fake news starts to go out.”
The Italian does not want this issue to be a distraction for the club’s push for Champions League qualification.
Spurs are two points behind Arsenal with five games to go and Conte has called on a joint effort to get over the line.
“In this moment our fans, me, the players, the club, the fans we need to be focused, we need to be concentrated on an important target for us,” he said.
“We have a big opportunity to try to get a place in the Champions League.
“It’s a big opportunity for us because no one can imagine to stay and fight for this target in this league now in this moment. In the past it was different, but now you know very well what I said in the past that it would be a miracle to get this achievement.
“We are doing something special for the situation we faced this season. I spoke with my players and its the same with our fans, they have to continue to support us and push us until the end.
“We’re living this dream. We have to continue until the end to get a place in the Champions League. It’s right to underline that we are fighting for a target that wasn’t in our mind at the start of the season.
“For this reason I want to push everybody at the club to have great enthusiasm, great passion, our fans to stay with us and to back us from the start until the end.
“Now it would be very important to be focused and not listen to fake news and the people that for sure want to create problems for the environment.
“We have to play these five games and then you know, because I answer a lot of times, that at the end of the season in a private way I will speak with my club and I will see the best solution.
“We’re working very hard and my players know very well we’re very focused. We’re speaking a lot about this opportunity.
“We have to live this situation with passion, enthusiasm and joy. I repeat, we deserve to stay there and to fight for a place in the Champions League. A place in Champions League is not easy for no one.
“To stay there, we need to enjoy this situation. For this reason, I repeat our fans have to stay with us at every moment. Positive and negative moments. We deserve to fight until the end and have a big push from our fans.”
Spurs will be without Sergio Reguilon for Sunday’s game against Leicester as he has a groin problem.
The Spaniard joins Oliver Skipp (pubis), Japhet Tanganga and Matt Doherty (both knee) in the treatment room.