Antonio Conte clarifies Romelu Lukaku is the only player he ever asked to sign and explains why Tottenham’ won’t spend a lot’ on new signings.
The Italian tactician spoke to SportWeek almost one month after he was appointed Tottenham coach.
“I’ve never been afraid of challenges,” Conte told Sportweek as quoted by Calciomercato.com.
“Having a 1 per cent chance to win is enough for me. I’ve never taken charge of teams that had won the year before. I have always rebuilt during my career.
“Juventus had finished seventh, Chelsea tenth, Inter fourth. I know it will take some patience this time. In Milan, I finished the job. It’s never easy to take over while the season is ongoing.”
During the same interview, which was released in full on Saturday, Conte also discussed Tottenham’s transfer strategies and how much the club will spend in the coming months with him in charge.
“I have a solid relationship with Fabio [Paratici], we worked together before and we speak the same language. And I don’t mean Italian.
“It makes me laugh when I hear that I make clubs spend a lot. I make them earn and not lose money.
“All the players that I’ve coached have gained value. [Romelu] Lukaku is the only player I ever asked to sign,” he continued.
Inter signed Lukaku in a €75m deal from Manchester United in 2019. The Belgian star left San Siro two years later, returning to Chelsea for €115m.
He scored 47 goals in 72 games across all competitions in a Nerazzurri shirt.
“I asked him based on the targets that we had, Inter directors came to my home telling me that they wanted to end Juventus’ hegemony and put Inter on top of the world by using their huge economic means,” Conte added.
“I thought Lukaku was crucial. Then he was sold for almost the double, same as Achraf Hakimi.
“I could talk about Barella, Bastoni or Lautaro, who was not a regular starter before I arrived.
“At Juventus, I had the pleasure to work with Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini who had never won a thing before I arrived. I earn what I’m worth, what I produce and what I win. The value of a professional is established by his history and the results he gets.”
Conte has signed an 18-month deal in North London and lost his first game in charge of the North Londoners on Thursday when Tottenham suffered a 2-1 loss against Mura.
Spurs collected four points in Conte’s first two Premier League games in charge.
— calciomercato.com (@cmdotcom) November 26, 2021