Tottenham chief Levy may have to fulfil daunting ‘demand’ to stop Conte being lured to PSG

Conte coy on potential Tottenham return for Eriksen

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy may have to pull out all the stops to keep Antonio Conte in north London this summer. Reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain is set to give the Italian serious leverage during end-of-season talks, where Levy may have to sanction six new arrivals or risk venturing out to find another new manager. 

Having rescued Tottenham from the slumber of Nuno Espirito Santo’s short and disastrous reign, Conte’s importance to Spurs seems to grow with each passing week. The Italian has his team fighting for fourth spot, and could also be crucial to their prospects of keeping hold of talisman Harry Kane. 

A vacancy at PSG could put Levy and co under serious pressure, however. Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly set to be sacked, just after winning the Ligue 1 title, due to Champions League disappointment and a troubled relationship with fans. 

Although The Telegraph claim that no contact has been made between the club and Conte’s camp, even the most moderate reports state that the French outfit will strongly consider making a move for the Spurs boss. Levy could therefore face an uphill battle, as Conte is supposedly set to demand the arrival of six new players to bolster his squad this summer. 

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Fighting for fourth spot is seemingly not enough for the former Chelsea boss, who has enjoyed success virtually everywhere he has been. That could serve to instil confidence in the board that Conte can be trusted with a healthy wad of transfer funds, but Spurs are not known for being particularly frivolous. 

While a ticket into next year’s Champions League would be a tremendous start to life at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the gap between Manchester City, Liverpool and the rest is a huge one that would take a significant overhaul to make up. 

Past experience shows that Levy is rarely one to roll over and give every manager what they want in the transfer market. Conte learned that first hand in January when he was given two new arrivals, both on deadline day, after missing out on a host of his preferred options. 

But Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have both hit the ground running which could sway Levy into granting Conte’s lofty transfer wish, particularly with interest from PSG looming large. Targets at centre-back, wing-back, central midfield and striker are likely to be scouted out before the window swings open. 

Even if Levy gives the green light in an attempt to prolong Conte’s stay in north London, he and sporting director Fabio Paratici are unlikely to have free reign in the transfer market. Uefa regulations limit the number of foreign players a side can have in a European squad, and Spurs are already hovering around the threshold. 

Returning loanees Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil would only serve to worsen the problem, so there could be a focus on recruiting English talent this summer. Djed Spence is among those touted as targets for Conte, who is also rumoured to be a fan of Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips. 

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