Antonio Conte has emerged as a top target for Real Madrid despite Tottenham trying to tempt him to north London, according to reports.
Conte is on the lookout for his next job after recently leaving Inter Milan. He led them to the Serie A title but their financial situation meant they couldn’t keep him. But he will be in demand after his latest achievement and he has been linked with Tottenham.
Spurs are looking for the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in April. Ryan Mason took the reins on an interim basis until the end of the season but now it is time for someone more experienced.
There has been talk of a potential return for Mauricio Pochettino, although that would not be easy. Paris Saint-Germain still have him under contract for another year and do not want to lose him.
Therefore, Spurs will be considering other options, and Conte is one, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport.
It has been claimed that Conte could be tempted by a move to Tottenham, as he has fond memories of his previous spell in the Premier League with fellow London side Chelsea.
But – just like with their pursuit of Pochettino – it seems they face competition from Real Madrid.
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Zinedine Zidane has walked away from the Spanish club, who need to find the right replacement. They missed out on the La Liga title to rivals Atletico Madrid this season and now need to rebuild.
Conte could be the kind of high-profile appointment they need, and AS claim Madrid have been in contact with the manager.
SportItalia also confirm that contact, with Conte being elevated to the top of Real’s wishlist.
Tottenham will have to respond if they really want Conte.
Three Conte signings named
A recent report named three players Conte could look to bring with him from Inter to Tottenham if he took the job.
According to the Daily Express, the name at the top of Conte’s list is star striker Romelu Lukaku.
The 27-year-old Belgian has emerged as one the world’s top strikers since his move to Inter. The former Manchester United striker scored 27 times this season, form that has seen him linked with a shock return to Chelsea.
Conte could also ask Tottenham to finance a move for Lukaku’s strike partner Lautaro Martinez. The Argentine became a leading figure in Conte’s side and also comes with a hefty price tag.
And finally, centre-back Alessandro Bastoni could also be an option. The 22-year-old has emerged as one of Serie A’s top defenders this season, playing 40 times in all competitions.
A left-footer, he’s already been linked with Manchester City. And with Tottenham’s defensive frailties obvious, it’s easy to see why Conte would be keen on a reunion at Spurs.
Key to any of these deals, however, would be the sale of Harry Kane first. The striker appears desperate to move on and Levy will be looking for a minimum £120m for Tottenham’s talisman.