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Why I rejected Tottenham’s offer – Conte

Tottenham Hotspur missed out on Antonio Conte after failing to match his demands for a ‘project’, the Italian has suggested.

The ex-Chelsea boss seemed set to replace Jose Mourinho in North London after leaving Serie A title winners Inter Milan.

But Spurs ultimately failed to get their man, with SunSport revealing the Italian’s financial demands if he were to take over.

And Conte, 51, has now underlined his preference for going without work over accepting an imperfect coaching job.

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He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “The market, the results achieved, the work done over the years make the figures.

“But beyond this let me say that if my problem or my obsession was money, in the past I would have stayed where I was.

“I would have accepted compromises and perhaps obtained new contracts, which can act as a golden umbrella.

“But instead I look at the projects and I’m willing to stay at home if they don’t convince me.

“It is a question of vision, seriousness, intellectual honesty and principles from which I do not deviate.”

Conte dramatically left Inter having been told that the club will need to make financial cutbacks this summer, despite winning a first Italian title in 11 years.

His Scudetto success came against favourites Juventus, who he also led to glory as a coach and player.

The former midfielder added: “In general, I like challenges and I have always accepted a lot of them, because even at big clubs I’ve never started as favourites when I took over.

“But if there is something that does not convince me, I prefer not to accept or continue.”

A multitude of Serie A clubs are changing coaches ahead of next season, including Juventus, Napoli, Fiorentina, Lazio and Roma.

Mediocrity brings everyone closer. I, on the other hand, fight it and reject it.

Conte discussed what he considered an ‘an old and bad habit’ in Italian football of criticising those in charge despite their talents.

He noted: “First we want excellence and after a while we tend to want to destroy them.

“I could give many examples even in non-sporting fields but I don’t want to broaden the field. Everyone speaks, everyone judges and points the finger.

“Maybe because mediocrity brings everyone closer. I, on the other hand, fight it and reject it.”

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