Tottenham abandon pursuit of Antonio Conte as talks collapse

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Tottenham have decided to abandon their efforts to hire Antonio Conte and will pursue other options this summer, according to widespread reports.

Club chairman Daniel Levy is determined to bring in a replacement for Jose Mourinho before pre-season gets underway and talks with Conte – who recently quit Inter Milan after steering them to the Serie A title – were thought to be progressing well.

The likes of Roberto Martinez, Erik ten Hag, Graham Potter, Brendan Rodgers and former boss Mauricio Pochettino had all been linked with the the vacant position before Spurs honed in on Conte as their prime managerial target.

However, according to The Telegraph, Tottenham grew seriously concerned about the Italian’s excessive demands and feared he would be unwilling to provide young talent with a realistic pathway into the first-team.

Pochettino, a hugely popular figure among Tottenham’s fanbase, was renowned for giving youth an opportunity to impress across his five-and-a-half year stay in north London and Levy has been looking for a manager with a similar philosophy with regards to player development.

The report suggests discussions with Conte have now ground to a complete halt and Spurs are not expected to follow up on their initial interest in the 51-year-old.

The ex-Chelsea head coach is said to have had major reservations of his own about taking charge and felt the team would struggle to match his lofty ambitions.

Conte’s intention to bring more than four staff members with him to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium had not been well received and it’s claimed there was a salary proposal difference of around €3million (£2.6m) between the two parties.

In an interview with DAZN released on Friday, Conte admitted he would be keen to step out of his comfort zone and try his hand overseas again after a previous two-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

‘I would like to have more experiences abroad,’ he said.

‘I think that I am not someone who is happy with just a comfortable situation. I always chose the most difficult situation instead.

‘As a player, I won everything it was possible to win, but I also lost a great deal.

‘When you lose, it leaves within you the desire not to experience that again, so you do everything to transmit that to your players when you are a coach. It all comes from your scars and wanting to avoid getting more.’

Fabio Paratici, formerly sporting director at Juventus, is still expected to join Tottenham this summer.

The 48-year-old Italian is set to be officially unveiled by Spurs over the coming days, though has remained tight-lipped when pressed on speculation surrounding his future.

‘The Tottenham job? I don’t think this is the right time to talk about other clubs today,’ Paratici told reporters last Friday after deciding against renewing his contract at Juve.

‘It’s my Juventus farewell today. My family hopes that I will find a job quickly.’

Tottenham’s pursuit of Paratici has been independent of their move for Conte despite the pair having worked together at Juventus from 2011 to 2014.

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