Antonio Conte has told reporters at this afternoon’s pre-Southampton press conference that he does not believe Tottenham Hotspur are considering sacking him before the end of the season.
Conte’s future in north London has been the subject of intense press speculation over recent weeks which has kicked into another gear after the club’s hopes of silverware for another season were ended in both the FA Cup and Champions League.
The Daily Mail reported earlier this month that Spurs are not looking to part company with the former Inter Milan boss before the campaign is out, but there is little appetite from either party to trigger the 12-month extension contained in his current contract which expires this summer.
Conte also moved to clarify comments he had made after the AC Milan Champions League exit in which he suggested the club sack him before the season is up should they be unhappy with the situation (Prime Video Italy via Fabrizio Romano):
The 53-year-old said after the match: “My contract expires in June, we will see— they might sack me even before the end of the season, who knows, maybe they are disappointed.
“What matters for a coach is trying to work and raise the bar. This year we are struggling to raise the bar. Bringing the level from average to good is much simpler, while raising it again problems arise.”
The Athletic claimed on Monday that the Spurs hierachy are set to meet with Conte early next month to discuss his future and are yet to approach any potential successor until a firm decision is made.
Conte told the Evening Standard: “[My comment] was a provocation, you understand, about my future. A provocation, a joke, ‘una battuta’.
“When you tell something, to joke. You [the media] asked me about the future and I said to you that you don’t know what happens. Because maybe the club can sack me.
“But I repeat: I don’t think the club is thinking this. The club sees everyday what me and my staff, we are doing for this club. It was only an answer about my future.”
When quizzed whether he had been given assurances by the club that he would remain in the job until at least the end of the campaign Conte added: “I think there is not one club that can tell the manager, ‘You stay here until the end of the season’.
“Football is really strange. you don’t know what happens tomorrow. But I repeat: in my opinion we try in every moment to do everything, me and my staff.
“And I think the club appreciates this. Because if you continue to ask me if I sign a new contract, it means that maybe the club appreciates what we are doing, the work that we doing, in this one year and a half.”
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