Antonio Conte: In profile
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Tottenham have a new manager after appointing Antonio Conte on Tuesday and with it, Manchester City’s hopes of landing Harry Kane have taken a hammer blow. The Italian coach has signed an 18-month deal to succeed Nuno Espirito Santo after his ruthless sacking just 124 days into the job.
The striker had wanted to leave Spurs over the summer to pursue his desire to win trophies, with the north London outfit still yet to win any silverware since 2008.
The 28-year-old had struggled to make an impact in Nuno’s counter-attacking system, scoring just once in nine Premier League appearances this season. But now, the prospect of working under a serial winner like Conte will excite Kane.
Manchester City had shown their interest in signing the England international over the summer, with Pep Guardiola publicly inviting Spurs to name their price. But chairman Daniel Levy stood firm, insisting he would not be sold.
Conte’s appointment may force them to look elsewhere as he will be keen to retain last year’s Golden Boot winner.
Express Sport looks at five alternative options for the Premier League champions to assess ahead of the January transfer window…
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Given Man City’s financial power and a precarious-looking release clause written into Erling Haaland’s contract, a move to the Etihad seems like a marriage of convenience for the Norwegian star.
The 21-year-old has been in sensational form since joining Borussia Dortmund in January 2020, scoring 70 goals in just 69 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit.
It was expected that Chelsea would move for the £160m-rated frontman before they eventually signed Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan.
But Dortmund refused to sell up at the time, while Haaland was unwilling to force through a move given his happiness in Germany.
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The towering forward has refused to rule out a move back to the country of his birth, having been born in Leeds, and he is a Man City fan after his father Alf-Inge played for them.
With a release clause of £68m set to be active next summer, it appears likely that City will be one of the clubs vying for his signature if a move is on the cards.
If Man City and Guardiola are looking for a quick fix to their lack of striking options, signing Dusan Vlahovic in January would be a possible course of action.
The 20-year-old has lit up Serie A with some impressing goalscoring statistics, firing 21 goals in 37 appearances last season for Fiorentina.
The Serbia international has picked up where he left off last season, notching eight goals in nine appearances, including a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Spezia at the weekend.
Arsenal, Juventus and Tottenham all registered their interest with the player’s agent over the summer and with Vlahovic refusing to sign a new deal, the Viola may be forced to cash in.
Vlahovic, built with a strong, towering frame in the style of former City favourite Edin Dzeko, only has 18 months left to run on his contract and could be available for around £40m in January.
The only question is where Guardiola would be willing to compromise his attacking beliefs to sign a target man, even if questions have been raised over their use of a false nine.
Is there is a better free transfer in football history than when Bayern Munich swooped to sign Robert Lewandowski from rivals Dortmund in 2013?
The Polish hitman has been in incredible form over the past 18 months, scoring 53 goals in just 39 Bundesliga appearances. This season alone, he has already scored 22 times in 16 outings.
At the age of 33, Lewandowski is showing no signs of slowing down and looks as fresh as a barrel of Bavarian beer at Oktoberfest.
The striker has constantly flirted with an exit from the Allianz Arena and reportedly wanted to leave last summer before he was convinced to stay by Hansi Flick.
But a reunion with Guardiola, the man who signed him for Bayern, could be tempting for the experienced striker as he eyes one final big contract.
If Bayern move for Haaland as expected, that could free up Man City to move for Lewandowski, who would be guaranteed to produce goals.
Guardiola has never shied away from signing the best young talent available, as demonstrated by his move to sign Leroy Sane from Schalke in 2016.
And like Sane, Adeyemi is a young forward who has recently broken into the Germany setup and catching the eye of teams across Europe.
The 19-year-old scored on his international debut in the 8-0 drubbing of Armenia and looks like he could be amongst the next generation of
He currently plies his trade for Red Bull Salzburg and despite the relatively low reputation of the Austrian Bundesliga, the Champions League has provided the perfect stage for Adeyemi to shine.
He has scored 12 goals already this season and has been linked with a return to Bayern, the club he joined as a 10-year-old before being released.
Liverpool are amongst the clubs understood to hold an interest in snapping up the highly-rated forward, but with Man City needing a focal point in their attack more than the Reds, he may be tempted to head to Manchester.
Could one of the best players in the world really leave Paris Saint-Germain for nothing in June 2022, after they turned down an offer worth £160m this summer?
It certainly appears that Kylian Mbappe’s time with PSG is coming to an end. He is yet to put pen to paper on a new contract and with Real Madrid in the front seat to sign him, the Frenchman’s move appears to be inevitable.
He embodies everything that City stand for: quick attacking movement, flair and a relentless desire to goals. He scored 42 in 47 appearances for PSG last season.
But Man City have something Real don’t at the moment: disposable income — and that could be the key in deciding who lands the 23-year-old.
The coronavirus pandemic has been particularly difficult on Los Blancos, who are redesigning the Santiago Bernabeu.
If Guardiola was to tell the board to sign Mbappe in January, it could allow them to steal a march on Real by offering a substantial fee to get the deal over the line.
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