Antonio Conte will honour the final year of his contract and stay at Tottenham Hotspur, a decision that comes as no surprise on the back of the north London side’s Champions League confirmation.
Let’s not venture down the abyss regarding what would have happened had Spurs failed to qualify for Europe’s top club competition. It’s a moot point now that Tottenham are back where they belong.
Qualifying for the Champions League from a starting position of ninth and having to get there with a bundle of injuries and the addition of just two players puts into context the monumental nature of the Italian’s accomplishment.
Conte is currently on a well-deserved family holiday in Italy, but took a fleeting trip to Turin for a meeting with Director of Football Fabio Paratici.
Over what I assume was an exorbitantly expensive bottle of red vino, the two maestros discussed what Tottenham’s road map looks like for the crazy summer season and subsequent Premier League campaign.
Conte’s Future Not the Main Topic of Conversation During Meeting With Fabio Paratici
While I’m sure Conte’s future was broached, it certainly wouldn’t have been the main topic of conversation. Conte’s future at the club was guaranteed the exact moment Spurs secured a place in next season’s Champions League.
While he won’t admit it, Conte knows just how impressive steering Spurs into the Champions League is.
With no time to prepare, he stepped into the mid-season fire, played the cards he was dealt and came out the other side scarred, bruised, but most importantly, victorious.
But Conte will not want to go down the same road they did during his first transfer window at Spurs, with the club’s only two signings arriving at the deadline.
While landing both Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski in the nick of time turned out to be a master stroke, Conte knows the importance of getting business done as promptly as possible.
Not only would securing a few signings early in the transfer window provide more time for the new additions to prepare and get up to speed, it would also alleviate the compounding tension in north London the longer any perceived inactivity persists.
On that note, Conte, if reports by the Independent are accurate, is already on the verge of making Tottenham’s first signing just a week after the Premier League’s climatic finish.
Ivan Perisic has reportedly agreed terms to join Tottenham and reunite with Conte. That decision is expected early next week.
Not only does Perisic have a winner’s constitution, a wealth of experience and pedigree to help Spurs win immediately, his signing would also mark a monumental shift in Daniel Levy’s transfer policy.
Levy has historically put the onus on managers to sign youngsters who can either grow and progress at Spurs or be sold at a profit.
Perisic, who is 33 years old and certainly won’t have any resale value once Spurs are done with him, doesn’t tick either of those boxes.
But he can help the team win now and that’s Conte’s paramount concern. It seems Levy is finally on board with that sentiment, if only temporarily.
If the Perisic deal is confirmed, it would mark a concession from Daniel Levy and a shift in his strategical thinking. It would also show that Levy is finally willing to give the Italian the authority and autonomy he needs to bring in whatever players he desires.
Levy is nothing if not somewhat astute and understands acutely the gravity of what Conte accomplished at Spurs in less than a year. If the chairman doesn’t back him now, slap a straight jacket on him and diagnose him as clinically insane.
After finally breaking free of Levy’s restrictive shackles, let’s see what Conte and Paratici can accomplish, first in the current transfer window and then on the pitch.