Antonio Conte has dismissed claims he is set to quit Tottenham for Paris Saint-Germain as ‘lies’.
The former Chelsea boss was linked as potential replacement for Mauricio Pochettino in the French capital. PSG have already secured the Ligue 1 title with four matches to spare, but their latest Champions League implosion at the last-16 stage to Real Madrid has raised questions over Pochettino’s future with the club.
Recent reports indicate Zinedine Zidane has been named as the preferred target, but reports suggested Conte had offered himself to PSG, but with a strict set of demands. The 52-year-old was said to be asking to double his salary at the Parc des Princes, requesting more than £25million per year.
The Premier League winner was also reportedly determined to bring his own coaching staff to the club, and was keen to pick his own sporting director to work under. There were even suggestions Conte would demand greater control over transfers than usually afforded to reshape the squad as he sees fit.
Conte’s future at Tottenham has been questioned in the past following a difficult mid-season run and his public frustrations with his side. However, when the PSG links were put to him at the pre-match press conference ahead of facing Leicester City on Sunday, the manager was quick to brand the reports as ‘fake news’.
Conte told reporters: “Obviously I think it’s good that other clubs appreciate my work, but this is one thing. The truth is I don’t like when people try to invent news, only to speak, only to create problems. This is not right, this is not fair for the clubs involved or for my players. Also because I feel we’re really focused on these fives games and getting a result.
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“This type of situation makes me smile but I think that also the people that want to tell something about this have to show respect for all of the people that are involved in the situation and not invent fake news and tell a lot of lies.”
Manchester United’s recent poor form seems to have set the stage for a north London shootout over the final Champions League spot. Arsenal currently sit two points clear with five matches remaining, but are due to visit their rivals for a potentially decisive derby clash on May 12.
Momentum seemed to be with Tottenham after four straight wins, while Mikel Arteta’s side stumbled with three consecutive losses. Conte’s side had looked to have turned a corner with Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski all finding form.
However, Tottenham have not scored in their last two outings and suffered a surprise home defeat to Brighton, before being somewhat fortunate to hold on to a point in their goalless draw at Brentford. The Foxes are up next on the back of a Conference League semi-final draw with Roma, before Spurs travel to face title-chasers Liverpool.