Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Antonio Conte was telling the truth when he revealed that Djed Spence was a club signing, and admitted he was puzzled to see the Italian’s words about the right-back grabbing so many headlines.
Spence became Tottenham’s sixth signing of the summer transfer window and the 21-year-old made his first appearance in a Spurs shirt in the 2-1 win over Rangers on Saturday after coming on in the 71st minute.
Conte admitted soon after the youngster arrived from Middlesbrough that it was the Spurs hierarchy who proposed Spence’s signing and he gave a green light to the deal (The Athletic).
Football.London’s Alasdair Gold subsequently revealed that it was Fabio Paratici who drove Tottenham’s pursuit of the England Under-21 international, with the Spurs managing director of football said to have watched the player closely during his loan spell at Nottingham Forest last season.
Romano has now said that Spence not being Conte’s suggestion had nothing to do with the delay in negotiations between Boro and Spurs this summer.
When asked about Conte’s words regarding the right-back, the journalist told CaughOffside: “Antonio Conte told the truth about the Djed Spence deal.
“Spence is not a player asked by Conte himself, but I’m not sure why this grabbed so many headlines! This is also what happened for example with Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma and Richarlison.
“The club wanted to invest in Djed considering him a huge talent and then Conte approved the deal. The negotiation was conducted by the president Daniel Levy, of course with Fabio Paratici always there.
“Tottenham several times in the past have chosen to invest in young talents that the club believed in regardless. In any case, that’s not why the deal took so long and faced delays. This was for reasons related to his contract, which were eventually resolved.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Conte’s words were not surprising at all and I too am at a loss as to why it created a controversy. Given how modern-day recruitment works, one cannot expect a head coach to personally scout all of the club’s targets.
The whole point of having someone like Paratici at the helm is so that we can utilise his network of scouts to identify the right sort of players who fit the requirements of what Conte is looking for.
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