Antonio Conte tells Tottenham the signings he wants as Spurs eye four transfers

Antonio Conte: In profile

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Antonio Conte has wasted no time in telling Tottenham the four players he wants the club to sign in the January transfer window, according to reports. Conte was appointed as Tottenham manager on Tuesday, with the Italian replacing Nuno Espirito Santo on an 18-month contract.

Conte has stepped back into management six months after leaving Inter Milan following a disagreement with the club’s hierarchy over transfers.

The former Chelsea and Juventus boss won the Serie A title with Inter, but walked away in May after failing to receive assurances from Chinese owners Suning about ongoing financial backing.

The 52-year-old usually prefers to take jobs in the summer, due to his preference for having a pre-season and a say over recruitment.

But he has made an exception for Spurs, who are paying him a reported £15million per year in exchange for his expertise and experience.

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In return for his commitment Conte wants backing in the January transfer window and has identified four players as targets, according to The Times.

Given his knowledge and experience of Italian football, it is little surprise that all four players currently ply their trade in Serie A.

Conte has asked sporting director Fabio Paratici to raid Inter for young duo Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella, while AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic are also possibilities.

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Inter have warned Conte off making a play for 22-year-old defender Bastoni and 24-year-old midfielder Barella, who are seen as the future of the club.

Bastoni signed a new contract until June 2024 with Inter in May, and while Barella is currently in the same boat, Gazzetta dello Sport reported this week that Inter are working hard to extend his deal.

The Times says that, while Inter don’t want to sell Bastoni or Barella, they would be open to offloading centre-backs Stefan de Vrij, 29, and Milan Skriniar, 26, to their old manager.

Spurs have been strongly linked with Kessie recently and have already offered the 24-year-old midfielder a £8.5million-a-year deal to join, as per Calcio Mercato.

Kessie is out of contract in June and appears to be a plausible target for Spurs, who are lacking dynamism in the middle of the pitch.

Vlahovic may well be a more difficult signing, however. Tottenham made a bid to sign the Serbian striker in the summer but were rebuffed by Fiorentina.

The 21-year-old has 18 months left on his deal and recently rejected the chance to become Fiorentina’s highest ever earner by signing a new contract, but would command a sizable transfer fee.

Vlahovic has scored eight goals in 11 Serie A appearances this season after netting 21 in 2020/21 and would reduce the pressure on the misfiring Harry Kane.

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