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Tottenham hopeful after positive talks as Conte seeks transfer assurances

Talks between Tottenham and Antonio Conte are expected to continue over the weekend, with the club not anticipating a conclusion until next week.

Spurs have held positive discussions with the former Chelsea coach and are hopeful that their long search for a new manager is nearly at an end.

The club have also made an offer to Fabio Paratici, who worked with Conte at Juventus, to be their new director of football and the 48-year-old is expected to allude to his future when he gives a farewell press conference at the Serie A club on Friday afternoon.

Discussions between Spurs and Conte have included details on transfer budget, the number of staff he would be allowed to bring and the future of Harry Kane, who has said he wants to leave the club and is interesting Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

The delay in an agreement could be down to Conte’s desire to mull over Tottenham’s proposal, with the Italian known to be a demanding character when it comes to his level of control over the squad and transfer decisions.

Conte left Inter Milan by mutual consent last month because he was unhappy at the club’s plans to sell roughly €80million worth of players to balance the books following their first Serie A title win since 2010.

The 51-year-old wanted transfer funds to build on the historic success and he would want similar assurances from Spurs chairman Daniel Levy that they can immediately return to challenging at the top of the Premier League.

Levy has publicly promised that revenues from the club’s groundbreaking stadium will be channeled into rebuilding the first-team squad, although it remains unclear if Spurs will be in a position to spend big this summer after suffering heavy losses during the pandemic.

Spurs are already attempting to offload a number of unwanted players, which could raise funds, although Levy is unlikely to agree to Kane’s sale while the striker has three years left on his contract.

While Conte does not appear to fit Levy’s preferred profile of a new manager who will guarantee free-flowing, attacking football and blood young players, he has won five titles in the last seven seasons and is widely considered one of the best coaches in the world.

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Senior players at the club are excited at the prospect of playing under a big-name coach with a recent history of success, although some of the younger members of the squad are thought to be unsure if Conte’s appointment would be good news for them.

Reports in Italy have claimed Spurs want to limit Conte to four members of his own staff, raising the possibility that Ryan Mason, who took the role of caretaker head coach after Jose Mourinho’s sacking, or Ledley King could be part of the Italian’s backroom team.

The appointment of Paratici would leave the position of Steve Hitchen, who is effectively the club’s head of recruitment, in doubt.

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