Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?
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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy refused to warm to the idea of selling Harry Kane in order to raise funds for Antonio Conte to rebuild the club’s playing squad, according to reports. The controversial 59-year-old came close to securing the appointment of the recently departed Inter Milan boss to replace Jose Mourinho at the helm, but a prospective deal collapsed at the eleventh hour despite negotiations reaching an advanced stage.
Levy has been searching for a new permanent manager for more than 45 days and looked to finally have his man in Conte, but will now be forced to go back to the drawing board.
The Italian boss walked out on Inter last month, with the club looking to sell a number of first-team players after their funds were ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was said to be concerned over the possibility of losing their Serie A title credentials so quickly after winning their first Scudetto since 2010.
Conte was hoping to benefit from significant levels of financial support in order to improve the squad ahead of next season, but Inter could not guarantee this as a result of their precarious situation.
It seems as though similar doubts over transfer strategies may have poured cold water on Levy’s hopes of bringing Conte to Tottenham, with the two parties said to be some way off in their respective individual stances.
JUST IN: Tottenham call off Antonio Conte appointment due to Daniel Levy worry
The Lecce native’s demands reflected his desire to lead a large-scale overhaul of the playing squad, but the Spurs chairman’s refusal to budge ultimately proved fatal to his prospects of securing a deal, according to The Guardian.
The report claims that a disagreement over the summer transfer budget was the primary obstacle for Levy, with the club still reeling from the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He could raise a significant wedge by selling wantaway striker Kane, but reportedly refused to commit to parting ways with the 27-year-old despite the financial implications of his departure.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been linked with the England skipper in recent weeks, with a transfer fee of around £200million having been mentioned in connection with a potential move.
Levy looks set to work on keeping hold of Kane into next season and beyond, with the forward under contract until the summer of 2023.
However, his obvious desire to leave could force the former’s hand in the coming weeks if Tottenham’s rivals come knocking with big-money bids.
It is claimed that Spurs could be open to renegotiating with Conte if his demands are relaxed, but it appears as though his proposed move back to the Premier League is now effectively dead in the water.
Serie A pundit Conor Clancy recently suggested that Levy and Conte would have struggled to maintain a harmonious relationship given the Italian manager’s highly demanding nature.
“That relationship, I don’t think Daniel Levy would come out alive because Conte would probably kill him,” Clancy told The Transfer Tavern.
“He demands backing, he demands signings. Even with Inter he was given signings like Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella in his first year, and they were Inter’s two best players, and even after three months he was complaining.”
Meanwhile, Tottenham are believed to be closing in on the capture of Fabio Paratici in the role of sporting director as Levy seeks a return to a two-tier management structure.
The 48-year-old worked with Conte at Juventus but is imminently expected to join the north London club in spite of their failure to land the former Inter boss.
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