TEAMtalk has been told Antonio Conte believes Tottenham are closer to challenging that he publicly states and two gettable transfers will convince him to sign a new contract, though a 30-month Fabio Paratici ban may yet influence his decision.
Italian football was rocked on Friday evening when the full scale of Juventus’ apparent mismanagement came to light. The club were handed a 15-point deduction due to alleged financial irregularities and false accounting with regards to historic transfer dealings.
Juventus are understood to be in the process of appealing the decision, as are the officials who have been handed suspensions.
From an English perspective, the spotlight has now fallen on Tottenham chief Fabio Paratici.
The Italian headed up Juventus’ transfer department during the time they’re alleged to have repeatedly breached the rules.
As a result, Paratici has been handed a two-and-a-half year ban from Italian football. The suspension has also come with a request of an extension to cover all UEFA and FIFA activities, meaning Paratici could also be barred from operating in England if implemented by the FA.
The news comes at the worst possible time for Tottenham who are in the middle of a muddled January transfer window. While those around them are adding to their ranks, Spurs are yet to land their first signing of the window thus far.
Furthermore, manager Antonio Conte is out of contract at season’s end and is understood to be on the fence about whether to commit.
Now, our transfer insider, Graeme Bailey, has detailed what the future holds for Conte, including two gettable transfers that would go a long way to convincing him to stay.
Zaniolo and/or Porro the keys to Conte contract
“The truth with Antonio Conte is that he has not made a decision on his future yet,” said Bailey.
“Spurs want him to stay, that is their priority, and as it stands the club believe he will – but the club’s hierarchy want him to commit.
“Firstly, the January window will play a part, he wants new players with a new right wing-back a big priority at the top of his list.
“If Spurs can bring in someone he wants, like Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo, then that will go a long way to persuading him to stay.
“Another aspect for Conte is does he think he can win with Tottenham? He does, he really does and that is why it will be hard for him to leave because he doesn’t think this team is far away.”
Fabrizio Romano reported Roma are open for business regarding Zaniolo this month after talks over a new deal were shelved.
The classy forward, 23, can be signed for around £35m and has been the subject of intense Tottenham interest over the past three windows.
At right wing-back, Tottenham have already bid for Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Porro, though saw a move that included a makeweight rejected.
Sporting have repeatedly gestured towards the player’s £40m release clause. If Spurs trigger it, a move will be straightforward.
Both those deals could have a huge impact on Conte remaining in north London. As such, the onus is on Daniel Levy to make it happen.
Tottenham seek urgent Paratici clarification
However, the Paratici news – and especially if he’s barred from operating in England – may yet play a major part in Conte’s thinking.
A sizeable chunk of Tottenham’s buys since Paratici was appointed have come from Italian sides. The likes of Cristian Romero, Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have all been roaring successes.
While the situation is still developing and is therefore unclear at present, Bailey stressed a Paratici exit could alter Conte’s thinking.
Bailey continued: “However, the future of Fabio Paratici could have a huge bearing. The Italian has been handed a two-and-half-year ban by the Italian authorities and we need to see if that will impact on his future with Tottenham.
“If Paratici left, it will be fascinating to see how much of an impact that would have on Conte.”
talkSPORT subsequently reported Tottenham are seeking ‘urgent clarification’ on how and to what extent Paratici will be affected at Spurs.