Paul Merson has predicted Antonio Conte will face losing Harry Kane in January, though the striker’s thoughts on the new Tottenham appointment will give their fans plenty of hope.
Conte was installed at the Spurs helm on Tuesday just 24 hours after former boss Nuno Espirito Santo was relieved of his duties. The appointment will raise the morale at Tottenham, with Conte arriving with a reputation as a serial winner.
Indeed, the Italian has lifted league titles at each of his previous three clubs (Inter Milan, Juventus and Chelsea).
Tottenham last lifted silverware in 2008 with their EFL Cup triumph. If Conte is to end that streak in the coming months and years, talismanic striker Harry Kane will likely have played a key part.
Yet according to Paul Merson, Tottenham and Conte could soon be battling to retain the 28-year-old once more.
Kane was the subject of a huge Manchester City bid in the summer. Though living up to his reputation as a tough negotiator, Daniel Levy stuck to his guns and rejected their advances.
Kane has looked a shell of his former self this season, and Merson thinks City will bid again in January for fear of falling even further behind table-toppers Chelsea.
“Man City are in danger of falling behind Chelsea at the moment,” wrote Merson in his Sky Sports column. “This is the problem Nuno had, and Conte has the same issue with Kane.”
Antonio Conte already lining up Spurs' first January signing
Antonio Conte is reportedly already lining up Spurs' first January signing in the form of Inter Milan centre-half Stefan de Vrij, with more news on Spurs' transfer budget, Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Chiesa.
Man City have failed to score in six of their 16 matches across all competitions this season. Kane would no doubt help remedy that issue, but the Sun have revealed Kane’s thoughts on the Conte appointment that make excellent reading for Spurs fans.
The newspaper claim that Kane is ‘ready to abandon all plans to quit Tottenham’ following Conte’s arrival.
He reportedly believes the Italian can help his quest to lift major honours finally succeed. Kane is also not alone in welcoming the appointment. It’s stated ‘the rest of the squad’ are ‘delighted’ with the change.
Kane was booed by sections of Tottenham fans for his lacklustre display in the defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. That, combined with Conte’s arrival could be the spark that kickstarts his season in north London.
Conte hands Paratici four-player January shopping list
Meanwhile, Conte has handed Fabio Paratici an impressive four-player request list ahead of the January transfer window as he seeks to revive Tottenham’s fortunes, as per reports in Italy.
Embarking on an immediate change of style will be top of his to-do list at Spurs. The Italian manager is renowned for playing an attack-minded 3-4-3 formation – and that will be far more pleasing on the eye than Nuno Espirito Santo’s more pragmatic approach.
And according to il Gazzetta dello Sport, Conte has handed Paratici a four-strong transfer list ahead of the January window.
Top of his list of targets is Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic. The Serbian striker who has long been tracked by Spurs. Conte is well aware of his talents and a deal may now be reportedly struck. To that end, Fiorentina have indicated that a January sale could be on the cards.
Conte has reportedly another deal be struck for another man nearing the end of their contract in Franck Kessie. The powerful Ivorian has earned a reputation as one of Italian football’s best midfielders.
Rounding out the list were defensive reinforcements in the form of Inter Milan centre-back Stefan de Vrij and Lazio right-back Manuel Lazzari.