Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has had a little moan during Friday’s press conference over what he perceives to be a ‘misinterpretation’ of recent comments he made to Sky Sports Italia about the club’s lack of January transfer signings.
The Lilywhites made just two signings last month – former Juventus duo Dejan Kulusevski and Rogerio Betancur but bid farewell to four players, including midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, who joined Lyon on loan until the end of the season.
Speaking about the lack of incomings to the Italian press earlier this week, Conte said: “What happened in January is not easy.
“Four players left in January. Four important players for Tottenham, two have arrived. So even numerically instead of strengthening you may have, on paper, weakened.
“Bentancur and Kulusevski are the ideal prospects for Tottenham. Because Tottenham is looking for young players, players to be developed, not ready players. This is the speech.”
When quizzed over the meaning of his comments, Conte elaborated but also admitted that the Londoners’ hierarchy would now prefer him not to speak with the Italian media. “It’s another answer – I have already answered,” Conte told reporters on Friday. “During the interview, after the transfer market, after January they asked me about the club and if I was happy and I said that the club did the best that the club can do.
“We lost four players and I said they’re important players for Tottenham because these players that we sent away on loan – Tottenham paid a lot of money. When you pay a lot of money, we’re talking about important players.
“We need the players to be used to play this league and in my last interview, numerically when you lose four players – important players for Tottenham […] and you sign two players […] numerically you could be a bit weaker.
“[…] But I repeat, I think I was very clear – I don’t understand why someone wants to create a problem between me. […] The chairman knows my thoughts – It is not important for me to go and speak to the media. […]. I had an interview with the Italian media so from now the club don’t want me to speak with the Italian because maybe the translation is not so clear with my thoughts.”