Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Jose Mourinho can’t resist swipe at Tottenham over Antonio Conte appointment

Matthew Briggs

Jose Mourinho has taken a swipe at Daniel Levy after Tottenham appointed Antonio Conte to succeed Nuno Espirito Santo this week.

Levy and Spurs wasted no time in replacing Nuno. The north London club were just 24 hours without a manager after Conte was officially unveiled on Tuesday. Of course the Italian has tasted Premier League success before, he was Mourinho’s successor at Chelsea in April 2016.

Asked about Levy’s latest move on Wednesday, Roma boss Mourinho could not resist a dig at his old club.

Mourinho questioned Spurs’ decision to relieve the ex-Wolves boss of his duties. He also praised Conte’s capabilities, but suggested he was no better than Nuno.

Mourinho told Sky Italy: “I think [Antonio] Conte is a good coach, but Nuno is a very good coach.

“He did a fantastic job at Wolves for four to five years, not one year or a few months. Tottenham have a very good coach now, but they had that with Nuno.”

Mourinho and Conte famously clashed while Conte was in charge of Chelsea and Mourinho was at Manchester United.

Mourinho was upset by Conte’s actions during Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over United in 2016. He then referred to Conte as a “clown”.

Franck Kessie close to Spurs transfer

Reports suggest AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is closing in on a move to Spurs as Antonio Conte's first signing, with more news on Stefan de Vrij and Spurs' January transfer budget.

 

Conte responded with the Italian phrase “demenza senile” in relation to Mourinho, which translates as senile dementia. A club spokesman later confirmed Conte meant to say amnesia.

Conte also called his Blues predecessor a “little man” and “fake” after a 0-0 draw with Norwich in January 2018.

The pair looked certain to face each other again in Serie A this season when Mourinho was handed the Roma job. Conte though left Inter Milan soon after securing the Scudetto before heading to London.


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Paratici cools transfer talk

Meanwhile, Spurs’ managing director of football Fabio Paratici has cooled speculation about new arrivals at the club.

Conte has spent big in the past. However, Paratici was coy about what might happen in the January transfer window.

Asked whether the pair had spoken about new players, Paratici said: “Not at all. Because we trust a lot in our players. We are focused to be better, like a club, like a team.

“We haven’t spoken about players, we have to be focused on our team and then we will see. I think the team is competitive, we trust in the players, we have very good players so we don’t speak about (new) players now, it is not the right time. It is not the right time.”

READ MORE: Conte reveals immediate plan to revolutionise Tottenham after Nuno spell