Antonio Conte in nervous top-four admission for Tottenham amid Man Utd ‘guarantee’ and Chelsea fear

Antonio Conte before a Tottenham Hotspur match

Antonio Conte claims Tottenham have their work cut out to secure a Champions League place this summer with his side battling four sides for the final place.

The north London side have endured a frustrating period of late, seeing their trophy hopes end in the FA Cup and Champions League. And while they remain fourth in the Premier League, their supporters remain unhappy at the direction the club are going in.

As a result, speculation has increased in recent weeks that Conte’s time at Tottenham could end this summer.

His initial 17-month deal is due to expire at the end of the season. And while Spurs held talks over an extension during the World Cup break, it now seems the two parties are set for a parting of ways.

To confirm this, Ben Jacobs has explained to TEAMtalk why time looks like it is ticking on the Italian’s reign.

If Conte is to leave, he will do so without helping Tottenham to a trophy. However, successive top-four finishes would certainly reflect well on the Italian if Spurs can cling on to fourth.

They aided their cause by securing a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday. And coupled with Liverpool’s loss earlier in the day, they now have a six-point buffer on the Reds in the race for the top four.

Behind them, Newcastle are currently a point further back, while Brighton remain dark horses were they to win their games in hand.

Now Conte has spoken out on Tottenham’s chances.

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Conte expects tough Champions League race for Tottenham

And he reckons Chelsea cannot be discounted despite being 11 points behind at this stage. Furthermore, he believes Manchester United are already ‘guaranteed’ a top-four finish, leaving Spurs to scrap it out for the last remaining place.

“We know very well the race for a place in Champions League will be really, really tough. You see the competitors,” Conte said.

“You see there are many, many teams involved. And I think in this moment there is only one place available because Man City and Arsenal are fighting to win the Premier League and Man United I think are showing they have great continuity of good results.

“I think there is one place and there are many teams, many important teams that are in this race.

“We have to try to do our best and for sure I repeat for us to finish in the top four is like to win the Premier League. It happen last season and I spoke about miracle.

“I continue to say maybe this season it be much more difficult, much more difficult because Liverpool is a competitor in this race.”

Newcastle, Chelsea in the mix

Conte also cannot discount Newcastle or Chelsea from the race, either.

“Newcastle is a competitor and Newcastle is a different Newcastle to the past,” he added. “They invest a lot of money and they have a strong team.

“You see Chelsea and what happened there and their position, but I don’t consider Chelsea outside [the top-four race]. They have the possibility to win the last 11 or 12 games in a row because the squad is really, really strong.

“But we need to think about ourselves. A top club looks at themselves, not to other results.

“We have to be focused on our path and to try to do our best until the end of the season. Then we see which is the position we are able to achieve.”

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