Tottenham skipper Hugo Lloris explained why it’s a no-brainer PSG are being linked with Antonio Conte, and praised Mauricio Pochettino above all his former Spurs managers.
Attracting Conte was seen as a huge coup for Spurs when drafted in to replace Nuno Espirito Santo. The enigmatic Italian has developed a reputation as a serial winner and was seen as the perfect man to snap their decade-long trophy-less streak.
While there have undoubtedly been ups and downs since taking charge, it is now unquestionable Conte has Spurs trending in the right direction.
Indeed, Spurs have won four of their last five league matches to thrust themselves back into contention for fourth spot. Their only defeat came against Manchester United on a night when Cristiano Ronaldo rolled back the years with a sublime hat-trick.
However, Conte will always be a man in demand and the turmoil at PSG has led to reports in France linking Conte with potentially succeeding the under-fire Pochettino.
But during the international break, France No1 Lloris opened up on that speculation. He insisted it will have zero effect on Spurs as that type of story is wholly understandable given PSG’s ambition.
“I think all the best managers are linked with PSG since they are chasing elite status and a Champions League victory,” Lloris told Europe 1.
“And for that, they try to trust the best. So we know the football industry. All these rumours, all this speculation. We’re in our bubble and we’re doing the best for our club.”
Lloris was asked to assess Spurs’ current season. In his response, the Frenchman insisted Conte has Tottenham finally making tangible strides forward.
Tottenham going places under Conte – Lloris
“Yes, I extended my contract a month and a half ago now, in continuity,” added the goalkeeper.
“Things were done quite quickly with the leaders, with a lot of respect and consideration. Now it’s been two years and demi that there are a few ups and downs, a little irregularity in terms of results.
“But since the arrival of Antonio Conte, we feel a real progression.
“We feel a real direction and even if we have experienced some difficulties in February, we have the feeling that we are reaching a new level as a team and I think we will be ready for the final sprint, to seek European places.”
Finally, Lloris was asked about his relationship with his prior coaches – both internationally and at club level.
Regarding the six permanent Spurs managers he’s served under, it was Pochettino who Lloris spoke about the most. Espirito Santo was not even named.
“At Tottenham, I had the André Villas-Boas experience. Next, a very short experience with Tim Sherwood. And above all, there was this experience with Mauricio Pochettino.
“For me, it goes beyond the framework of football, there is a relationship of friendship that has been created.
“Even if we were able to make sense of things, I learned a lot by his side. There have also been José Mourinho and Antonio Conte now. There are many things to learn from them.”