Antonio Conte in no rush to discuss Tottenham contract during World Cup break

Talks over January signings are expected to take place in the coming weeks.
Antonio Conte in no rush to discuss Tottenham contract during World Cup break

By George Sessions, PA

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte will meet with chairman Daniel Levy and sporting director Fabio Paratici during the upcoming domestic football break but insists discussions over his own contract will not be on the agenda.

Spurs host Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday before the focus turns to the World Cup, with all domestic leagues around the globe on pause while the tournament in Qatar takes place.

Given the unusual lengthy period without fixtures, it has regularly been put to Conte that it could be the perfect time to discuss a new deal with his current terms set to expire in June, although the club do hold the option to extend his contract by a further 12 months, the PA news agency understands.

The Italian rejected any need to urgently discuss his terms but did admit the January transfer window will be a key topic of discussion with the hierarchy.

Conte said: “Honestly until now we didn’t speak (about January) but for sure after the first part of the season it’s right to have a meeting with the club and then to discuss the positive things, the negatives and how we can improve.

“Then we’ll see what we can do. It depends always on the possibilities of the club and also the ambition, but for sure we’ll speak.

“We’ll speak also to have a good evaluation about this first part of the season where I’ve seen a lot of positive things, but you know (with) injuries and to play every three days, I think we struggled a lot.

“In future we have to try to improve, to be better to face this type of situation. This would be a good way in my opinion. Then we know very well we have to discuss with the club to make the right decision.”

Last week Conte celebrated a year at Tottenham and in a strange twist of fate he will again take on Leeds at home this weekend.

The same fixture marked the beginning of the ex-Chelsea manager’s era at Spurs but while he is more than happy to wait before opening talks over any potential new contract, he wants to deserve fresh terms.

“You know very well that my contract expires on June 30. I think until that moment the club has to make the best evaluation,” Conte added.

“I think everything (you get,) you need to deserve. For this reason it’ll be important to see the rest of the season what happens and if we’re happy with the improvement we’re making, but every situation, it’s important to deserve.

“In my opinion on my side, it’s important for me professionally I have to feel I deserve to have a new contract and to sign a new contract with this club. I have to feel this. But for sure we’ll talk with the club and we’ll find the best solution.”

Conte pointed out his conversations with Paratici and Levy during the past 12 months have always been “good” but knows they must continue to be honest about where Spurs are in their project to become a genuine title contender.

He insisted: “For sure, every time we speak together they’re always good conversations, because there is only one target to try to improve, to improve the club in every aspect. On and outside the pitch. Then to find the best solution in every moment.

“I think until now we worked only with this target to improve. To improve and to find a good way to bring this club to be competitive, but I’m understanding very well this year that it’s not easy.

“It’s not easy because you can improve but at the same time you have other teams continuing to improve and go forward, like us or much more than us, because maybe they have more situations or more possibility (to improve), sometimes.

“For this reason it will be very important to speak, it will be very important to have a good conversation and understand if we’re satisfied with the work we’re doing after one year in this first period of this season.

“Then to understand very well what is the realistic possibility for us, which are the realistic ambitions for the club, because I think the truth is very important.

“It’s very important and we need, the club and me, to know the truth, because if you know the truth, you can work to find the best solution for the future.”

Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Cristian Romero (calf) and Son Heung-min (facial) will miss the visit of Leeds.

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