English Premiership

Conte takes shot at Spurs' ambition

Antonio Conte (Getty Images)
Antonio Conte (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said it’s OK for Spurs not to spend big, implying their ambition is not the same as ‘bigger’ clubs.

Conte suggested Tottenham must have lower expectations than their Premier League rivals a day after Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said current levels of transfer spending were 'unsustainable'.

Speaking about Levy's comments, the Italian agreed that the transfer market was currently "very difficult".

But Conte, who guided the Blues to Premier League glory last season, added: "If [Spurs] don't win the title, it's not a tragedy.

"If they don't arrive in the Champions League, it's not a tragedy. If they go out in the first round of the Champions League, it's not a tragedy. If they go out after the first game that they play in the Europa League and go down against Gent, it's not a tragedy.

"Maybe for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and - I don't know - Liverpool, it is a tragedy. You must understand this. You must understand the status of the team.

"Every team has to understand what their ambitions are. If their ambitions are to fight for the title or try to win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It's simple."

"My question is this: What are Tottenham's expectations?"

Tottenham, who finished behind Chelsea in the table in second place last season, have so far failed to buy a player this summer, with Levy defending Spurs’ transfer inactivity by saying “unless we can find a player that makes a difference we would rather give one of our young academy players a chance.”

Chelsea, meanwhile, have forked out £130m on striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma, and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

Premier League clubs have so far spent over £850million during the transfer window, with accounting firm Deloitte forecasting the record £1.165 billion spent last summer will be broken before the end of the current window, which ends on 31 August.

Still, despite disparaging Spurs transfer market activity, Conte said that he would love to sign Tottenham’s England striker Harry Kane.

"Tottenham is a really good squad if they are able to keep all the players," Conte said. "For me, Kane, now, is one of the best strikers in the world.

"If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker. He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he's strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left.

"If you go to buy Kane now it would be at least £100m."

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