Tottenham boss Antonio Conte says he is “disturbed” by coverage of an interview he gave on Italian TV and doesn’t understand why people are trying to create a problem between him and the club.
The 52-year-old said in an interview broadcast by the rights holders with Sky Sports Italia that his side were “on paper weakened” after the January transfer window where the club signed Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur and allowed Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil must leave.
Conte also spoke about the club’s transfer policy and how long it will take to pay off and the club received a lot of negative coverage this week.
There were definite translation issues given that Conte gave the interview in his native language and the Italian showed up at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s daunting trip to Manchester City.
He insisted he didn’t need to use the media as he told chairman Daniel Levy his thoughts, while revealing the club had asked him not to do any more media interviews Italians.
“I don’t understand why anyone wants to try to create a problem with me,” he said. “Not only me, but also in the past.
“I have read stories in the past about this club and it creates a problem with the coach, the president and the club. The president knows my thoughts very well.
“It’s not important for me to go to the media and talk to the media. If I have to talk to him, I will talk to him. Sorry but I was a little disturbed by this situation, especially because I had an interview with the Italian media.
“It means the club doesn’t want me to speak to the Italian media anymore because the translation wasn’t so clear in my thoughts.”
Asked by Sky Italia what he thought of the transfer window, he replied: “What happened in January is not easy. Four players left in January. Four important players for Tottenham, two arrived. So , even numerically instead of strengthening you, you may have, on paper, weakened.
Conte clarified his position, insisting that he was only speaking numerically, rather than in terms of quality.
“I’ve already answered that. In the interview after the transfer window, after the end of January, they asked me about the club, if I was happy, and I said that the club had done their best.” he declared.
“We lost four players and I said important players for Tottenham. Because those players we sent on loan, Tottenham paid a lot of money. When you spend a lot of money, that means you talks about important players for the club.
“Be careful in the future because we need players who are used to playing in this league. And in my last interview I said numerically, when you lost four players, important players for Tottenham, I repeat because they spent a lot of money, and you sign two players.
“If I had 20 players and now I have 18 players numerically, you can be a bit weaker. Numerically. Then I also said with Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, as a team we are more complete. I think I was very, very clear.
There have already been plenty of opinions on whether Conte is happy at the club, with Ian Wright suggesting he ‘regrets’ joining Spurs.
But Conte replied: “I have always said that I enjoyed my time with Tottenham, enjoying working with these players. I always said that.
“Then we have four months at the end of this season and we have to try to do our best to finish in the best possible place in this league. And then we’ll see.
A trip to Manchester City won’t do much to lighten the mood, with Storm Eunice forcing their travel plans to change.
Spurs, who are aiming to avoid a run of four successive Premier League defeats, will reunite with Eric Dier after a long absence with a thigh injury.
Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga are still injured while there is a confirmed case of Covid in the camp.