Tottenham lay down the law to Antonio Conte with latest bid

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has sent a stern message to Antonio Conte with his opening player-plus-cash offer to Sporting in exchange for the services of right-back Pedro Porro. Antonio Conte is believed to be desperate to strengthen his ranks in the mid-season market and has reportedly prioritised the need to sign a right-sided defender in order to give Spurs the best chance of earning a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

The Italian coach has reportedly taken a liking to Porro, who is said to have been earmarked as a potential January addition after impressing with his performances at Sporting over the last few months. Tottenham have since decided to act on their interest in his services by opening the bidding with a part-exchange offer that would see one of their players move the other way, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Tottenham squad member in question is not named in the report, but it is said that a bid consisting of a guaranteed fee plus a player in exchange for Porro has been submitted by the north Londoners. However, the offer has already been rejected by Sporting, who are desperate to avoid selling the defender for any less than his release clause of around £40million.

Tottenham are persisting in their efforts to land Porro, though, and will continue to speak with Sporting about a potential move in the coming days with the aim of reducing his asking price in the not-too-distant future. Porro himself is also believed to be keen on joining Spurs, which could put Sporting under greater pressure to sell if they fail to reach an agreement as a matter of priority.

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The opening bid submitted by Tottenham serves to demonstrate that Levy will not be bullied into paying over the odds for Porro’s signature in spite of Conte’s desperate pleas to add to his squad before the end of the January window. The Spurs chairman is clearly not prepared to bankroll a mega-money spending spree in a similar way to Todd Boehly at Chelsea and it remains to be seen what impact this could have on Conte’s long-term future at the club, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season as things stand.

Boehly has already spent over £130m on new players this month in a money-spinning show of support for Chelsea boss Graham Potter who, like Conte, is under significant pressure to get results in the battle to claim a top-four finish in the Premier League when the campaign draws to a close. If Conte is denied the opportunity to reshape his squad in the January window it could well end up dashing Tottenham’s hopes of tying him down to a longer contract, with the club having failed to reach a new agreement with the former Chelsea boss as of yet despite holding talks over the last few months.

Levy seems to be willing to back Conte in terms of launching bids for his targets, although his reluctance to go all-out in deals could be his way of telling the Italian coach that he will not have everything on his own terms between now and the end of the window. It seems apparent that Tottenham’s ongoing policy of spending smartly when the right opportunities arise could be running the risk putting Conte off the idea of signing a new deal, with the 53-year-old insisting last year that he is only willing to stay if the club match his ambitions both on and off the pitch.

“I’m open to improve the Tottenham situation and I decided to sign a contract with this club and I’m available to give my opinion, to give my vision and it won’t be a problem for me, a short contract, only one year to go,” he said.

“It won’t be a problem and I don’t want to commit to clubs for many years because I understand the salary is an important salary for the club and I have to deserve this type of contract. It’s OK because Tottenham has to be sure 120 per cent to continue to work with me.

“I’m happy to work with this group because they are giving me great availability. But at the same time, you know the club has to know my vision, has to know my opinion about the situation and especially what is our ambition.”

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