Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?
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Antonio Conte has already identified Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic as one of five Tottenham transfer targets ahead of next season, according to reports. The 51-year-old is reportedly in advanced talks with chairman Daniel Levy over the managerial vacancy in north London, with his appointment expected to be confirmed imminently.
The move would see Conte take over the reins from interim boss Ryan Mason, who replaced Jose Mourinho for the final six Premier League games of the season.
The experienced Portuguese boss was given his marching orders in April after failing to guide Spurs back into the division’s top four despite a promising start to the campaign.
Levy has been under pressure to recruit a top-class replacement since Mourinho’s exit, and it seems as though the 59-year-old has finally got his man in Conte.
The recently departed Inter Milan boss, who walked out on the San Siro giants shortly after leading them to their first Scudetto since 2010, has been locked in negotiations over the last few days with talks said to be progressing quickly.
He is widely expected to assume the role at Spurs ahead of next season and will be tasked with a rebuilding job upon his arrival.
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Improvements will be needed across the pitch this summer in order to stand any chance of regaining the club’s Champions League status, and Conte is said to have wasted no time in relaying his transfer demands.
The former Chelsea manager has drawn up a five-man shortlist, with Matic included as an option to shore up Tottenham’s midfield ranks, according to Fichajes.
The United midfielder played just 20 Premier League matches this season but has reportedly been earmarked as a target by Conte, who knows the Serb well from his time at Stamford Bridge.
Blues forward Olivier Giroud is said to be another name on the list, with Spurs in desperate need of attacking reinforcements ahead of the new campaign.
Harry Kane appears to be determined to leave the club in the coming months, with both Manchester clubs and Paris Saint-Germain tracking his situation with a keen interest, while a back-up option will also be on the agenda following the departure of Benfica loanee Carlos Vinicius.
Giroud has more than proven his worth as an effective understudy this season, chipping in with six Champions League goals to help Chelsea seal a second European triumph, and could be set to play another crucial role at Spurs if Levy grants Conte’s wishes.
The Italian coach is also reportedly looking to raid Inter for three of their star players in Ivan Perisic, Milan Skrinar and Christian Eriksen.
The former and Skrinar were mainstays in the club’s successful Serie A campaign, while Eriksen featured regularly but started just 17 league matches.
He has been linked with a move back to Spurs since the turn of the year and could be inclined to follow Conte back to London, where he would surely be given a warm welcome upon his return.
It remains to be seen whether Levy will be able to sign more than a few of his incoming manager’s targets, with Spurs needing to supplement their transfer budget through player sales in order to lead a large-scale overhaul.
Meanwhile, former Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown has suggested that supporters would prefer a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino over the appointment of Conte, given the latter’s ties with cross-city rivals Chelsea.
“Daniel Levy is normally very, very slick, very, very quick to make these appointments,” Brown told Sky Sports. “On this occasion, he realises how big it is for himself and the football club.
“He has taken that time. He’s not 100 per cent sure. Of all the appointments, this is going to be the boldest one yet, obviously, an ex-Chelsea manager. Spurs supporters might not like it.”
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