Pochettino ‘confident’ of torpedoing Conte, Tottenham striker plans involving Mbappe
Mauricio Pochettino is ‘confident’ PSG can beat all rivals including Antonio Conte and Tottenham to the signing of a fearsome forward being lined up as a Kylian Mbappe replacement, according to a report.
After just 10 league matches, Nuno Espirito Santo was relieved of his duties in north London. Antonio Conte had been linked with the position in the summer. At the second time of asking, he accepted Tottenham’s proposals.
Conte is a proven winner. If backed, he will help Spurs’ quest to re-establish themselves as a top four club to no end.
A recent report shed light on the types of formation and tactics the 52-year-old Italian will deploy after taking his first training session.
But while his coaching acumen will no doubt have a significant effect, key acquisitions in the transfer market will give him the best possible chance of succeeding.
As such, Tottenham have continued to be linked with Fiorentina hitman, Dusan Vlahovic.
The Serbian, 21, bagged 21 Serie A goals in a breakthrough season last year. Proving he was not a one-off, he’s backed that up with 10 strikes in his first 12 outings across all competitions this season.
But despite his importance to the club, there is a belief he will soon move on. Indeed, Fiorentina chief, Joe Barone, recently hinted a blockbuster transfer may be on the cards.
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.
Vlahovic was named on a four-man wish-list of transfer targets Conte had reportedly handed to sporting director Fabio Paratici.
But according to Goal (citing French outlet Le10Sport), Pochettino and PSG stand in their way.
They claim the former Spurs boss is ‘confident’ of signing Vlahovic after earmarking him as a potential Mbappe successor.
That stems from Mbappe being in the final year of his contract in Paris. Unfortunately for the Parisians, a breakthrough over an extension is appearing increasingly unlikely. As such, Real Madrid are believed to be the frontrunners to land the superstar on a free agent deal.
PSG are stated to believe Vlahovic would be an ‘ideal’ fit in their attack. Furthermore, they believe they can ‘outbid’ Juventus and any other interested party for the Serbian’s signature.
Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele star in our 2022 free transfer XI
Tottenham in ‘advanced talks’ with first Conte target
Meanwhile, AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is closing in on a transfer to Tottenham to become the first signing of the Antonio Conte era, according to a report.
Initial reports on Tuesday indicated that Ivory Coast midfielder Kessie is a key target. Conte and Paratici want to beat the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United to his signature.
According to more recent claims, the deal has moved closer to completion. As reported by the Daily Express, Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Spurs are in ‘very advanced talks’ over a deal to sign the 24-year-old next summer.
Kessie’s current contract in Milan runs out at the end of the season, when he will become a free agent. While he has held talks over an extension, he’s so far been unable to find common ground with his employers.
The Sun relay claims from Italian journalist Rudy Galetti. He has added weight to talk of a move to Tottenham for Kessie. The reporter claimed that the midfielder will earn €10million per season, or £8million a year, at Spurs.
READ MORE: Conte facing Kane transfer headache, as true feelings on Tottenham appointment emerge