Daniel Levy’s pursuit of a new manager to replace Jose Mourinho at Tottenham appears to be heating up, with interim head coach Ryan Mason taking charge of his final match on Sunday against Leicester City. A number of candidates have been linked with the vacancy in recent weeks, including recently departed Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and Erik ten Hag of Ajax, but it seems as though Spurs have switched their focus to the addition of a prolific operator with a wealth of proven title-winning experience.
Antonio Conte is reportedly the man in question, with his future at Inter Milan in serious doubt despite leading the San Siro giants to their first Scudetto since 2010 this season.
The 51-year-old has been told that a number of his star players could be sold this summer in order to aid the club’s precarious financial situation, a development that has accelerated the possibility of his imminent departure, according to La Stampa.
The report claims that Tottenham have taken advantage of Conte’s uncertain state of affairs by tabling a mammoth contract offer that includes a salary in the region of £17million per year, which is a marked increase on Mourinho’s previous wage.
If Levy is successful in poaching the former Chelsea boss, he could be tasked with raiding Inter for a selection of their biggest talents in the summer transfer window.
Upon his arrival in north London, Conte would immediately be faced with a significant dilemma over the future of Harry Kane, who has informed the club of his desire to seek a new challenge ahead of next season.
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With Manchester City said to be leading the race for his signature, and Spurs able to demand a fee of around £200m for his services, the Italian boss would be able to address the situation by asking Levy to bring Romelu Lukaku to north London.
The Belgian striker has played a crucial role for Inter this season, leading the charge with 24 goals and 10 assists in league action.
Although he struggled at times during spells at Chelsea and Manchester United, Lukaku has since emerged as a top-class attacker and would serve as a viable alternative to Kane if the England skipper cannot be convinced to stay for another campaign.
A move for his services would not come cheap, but Spurs will need to pursue a top-class forward to have any chance of filling their best player’s boots, and the Inter man has the ability to offer the whole package.
The beaten Carabao Cup finalists may be inclined to snap up Lautaro Martinez as well, with Carlos Vinicius having returned to Benfica at the end of his season-long loan agreement.
The Argentina international is just 23 years of age but has already proven his worth in Serie A, playing every single match for Inter on the road to domestic glory.
Martinez, like Lukaku, has reached new heights under Conte’s guidance with 27 goal contributions this season and could look to follow his manager in order to continue their successful working relationship.
Meanwhile, Spurs will also be looking to strengthen their defensive ranks this summer, with their performances at the back failing to live up to expectations as of late.
Alessandro Bastoni, who is reportedly being tracked by Manchester City with a keen interest, has the potential to fill one of Tottenham’s centre-back positions on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.
The 22-year-old has gained plenty of admirers with his cultured range of passing and ability to pick out a team-mate under pressure, with Pep Guardiola said to be a huge fan of his dynamic style of play.
Although a move to City would be an attractive proposition for Bastoni, the arrival of Conte at Spurs could swing his decision in their favour, although it remains to be seen how much Inter will demand to part ways with the young defender.
In the event that Levy manages to tempt Conte with his lucrative offer, it would represent a huge coup for Tottenham who appear to have been lacking that all-important winning mentality for way too long.
However, the Lecce native will not be handed an easy ride in the capital, with major surgery required over the next few months in order to push the likes of City and Liverpool for next season’s Premier League crown.