Darren Ambrose has urged the Tottenham hierarchy to stop playing ‘cat and mouse’ with Antonio Conte and back the Italian in a big way in the January transfer window.
Some reports over recent months have indicated that Spurs are prepared to back Conte in January, with the Italian thought to have asked for three signings next month (Evening Standard).
However, The Athletic revealed last week that some sources close to key figures at Spurs are now less optimistic that the 53-year-old will sign a new contract.
The report added that Conte might want to be convinced that the Tottenham hierarchy shares the same ambition as he does before signing on the dotted line.
Journalist Dean Jones explained to GiveMeSport a couple of days ago that Spurs might be in a catch-22 situation with Conte as the club would be hesitant to back the Italian with big-money signings in January if they feel there is a risk of him leaving at the end of the season.
However, Ambrose believes that it is in Tottenham’s interest to add more top-quality players to the squad irrespective of Conte’s contract decision.
The pundit told talkSPORT: “If Antonio Conte is going to walk away, who knows, I hope he doesn’t and probably the majority of Spurs fans hope he doesn’t.
“If he does walk away, then you need a squad that is going to attract a top-class manager. Not one that is going to say ‘right, let’s come in I need to rebuild once again’.
“You need a squad to attract a top-class manager, so back him right now. By backing him right now, he will also turn his head and say ‘right, I am going to sign the contract’. Stop playing cat and mouse with a top-class manager.”
If Conte does walk away from Spurs, reports indicate that Mauricio Pochettino is one man the North London club are likely to turn to (90 min). However, Ambrose believes his beloved Tottenham will be going backwards by re-appointing the Argentine.
He added: “You don’t replace Antonio Conte with Mauricio Pochettino, right now, you don’t. You give Conte the opportunity to try and win Spurs a trophy.
“I think if you back him in this transfer window, he will sign a new contract. Back him in the summer, and then next season, you are looking at challenging for a lot of trophies
“I do think he will stay. I think after the first signing (the contract will get done). I think Daniel Levy has to show a bit of ambition, then first signing he will go ‘right, I am ready’ and will sign. Yeah, I think so (this January).”
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The Spurs hierarchy have already shown that they are prepared to back Conte. The negotiations will be about the level of backing and for fans to suggest that the club should gamble on their future by spending exorbitant amounts, is naive.
It is also a question of the profile of players the club sign as the last thing Spurs need is to be stuck with a bunch of defensive midfielders and wing-backs who do not fit into the plans of the next manager if Conte walks away at the end of the season.
So, both parties need to compromise to find the middle ground and I believe that it will happen as Conte knows that he potentially has a very good job on his hands with a squad of players who are fully behind him.
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