Soccer

Conte dismisses ‘fake’ PSG link but keeps Spurs hanging over his future


Antonio Conte has reacted angrily to the suggestion that he has offered his services to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, with the French club expected to sack Mauricio Pochettino, describing it as a lie, fake news and unfair to everybody.

The Tottenham manager’s focus is on nothing other than his club’s final five matches of the Premier League season – the first is Leicester at home on Sunday – and giving everything to secure a Champions League finish. And yet the obsession continues to carry a sting.

Conte could very easily kill all rumours about his future by promising to remain at Spurs next season. He will not do so. Conte doubled down hard on his position on Friday, maintaining that he would discuss next season with the club’s hierarchy only after the current campaign had ended. There was also the habitual reminder that he wanted to assemble a squad which could do more than battle for the top four.

“Obviously, I think it’s good that other clubs appreciate my work,” Conte said, when asked about the PSG link. “But the truth is that I don’t like when people try to invent news – only to speak, only to create problems. This is not right. Not fair for me, for the clubs involved and for my players. The people that want to tell something about this have to show respect for all the people involved in this situation and not invent fake
news and tell a lot of lies.

“In this moment, in our minds, me, the club and the players have to be focused on the last five games. I said to you a lot of times, at the end of the season, we speak with the club but with pleasure, in a really good way – to find the best solution for everybody.

“Don’t forget I like to have ambition, not only to fight for a place in Champions League or a place in Uefa [Europa] League. Honestly, I want to fight for much more, you understand? I deserve to do this – to fight for and win trophies, to fight for something important, not for only sixth or seventh, eight place or, if you have a fantastic season, fourth place.”

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Conte was asked to clarify what he meant by the best solution. “It will be very important to understand how much time we need to fight for something important – if we have the patience to wait because, for sure, this is a process,” Conte replied. “I always say to you that we need time and patience. And we have to understand how much time we need and how much patience we have.

“We have to understand if we can match my opinion and [the] club opinion. We are trying do this season in the best possible way and then we will see. I am enjoying it a lot in Tottenham. For this reason, we will have a private meeting and we will try to find the best solution.”



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