Tottenham twist as Antonio Conte ‘demands Harry Kane stay before taking job’

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Tottenham target Antonio Conte has told the north London giants he’ll only take over from Jose Mourinho if he can be guaranteed Harry Kane stays at the club, according to reports. The England international wants to leave amid interest from Manchester City. Chelsea and Manchester United have also been linked – but it’s Pep Guardiola’s side who appear to be frontrunners at the current moment in time.

Tottenham want Conte.

They’d initially hoped to replace Mourinho with Julian Nagelsmann, only for the German to go to Bayern Munich instead.

Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino have also been linked but both men are now primed to stay at Leicester City and Paris Saint-Germain instead.

So with Conte on the market after leaving Inter Milan, where he recently steered the club to the Serie A title, Tottenham are locked in talks over a potential appointment.

But The Times claim the former Chelsea manager will only take over from Mourinho if he’s assured Kane won’t be leaving the club this summer.

Conte is a combative character, forever putting pressure on boards over the years. From Juventus to Chelsea, Inter to Bari, it’s always been the same.

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And he’s unwilling to take over if he’s told Kane will be sold, with the England international eager to leave the club for a new challenge elsewhere.

Kane is said to be unhappy with Levy. He’s made it clear he feels he’s earned the right to leave but the Spurs supremo is reluctant to lose his prized asset.

And whether Tottenham are able to convince Conte remains to be seen.

An announcement is still expected and could potentially come as early as today, with Spurs locked in talks with the Italian and his entourage.

As for Kane, it’ll be interesting to see what happens – especially with so many of Europe’s top clubs keen on a deal.

City are frontrunners to land the England international, with Guardiola looking to replace Sergio Aguero following the veteran’s move to Barcelona on a free transfer.

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But Manchester United are in the mix, too, even if Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho appears to be their priority at the current moment in time.

Chelsea have also emerged as potential suitors, with Thomas Tuchel unlikely to secure the signing of top target Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has claimed he’s prepared to stay at Inter Milan and, with that the case, it’s feasible the Blues will put everything into poaching Kane instead.

Conte, meanwhile, said in 2017 that Kane was one of the best strikers on the planet.

“Tottenham is a really good squad if they are able to keep all the players of their squad,” said Conte four years ago. “For me, Kane, now, is one of the best strikers in the world.

“If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker. He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he’s strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left. He’s a complete player. He’s one of the top strikers in the world.

“If you go to buy Kane now it would be at least £100million. At least. For me, if I see this price for a striker I know for sure he’s a big striker.

“Dele Alli is another top player, young. Tottenham is a really good team if they are able to keep the same squad as last season.”

Former Rangers boss Alex McLeish recently opened up on Conte, expressing a belief he’d be the perfect fit for Tottenham because of his ‘beautiful coaching’.

“Yeah. He’s got some record. It’s fantastic,” he said.

“When you think of him coming to Chelsea and the Premier League, playing his trademark three at the back.

“He coaches it beautifully, so much so Chelsea go on to have a fantastic season and win the league.

“He’s done it again at Inter Milan when they’ve not won the league for a long time. He’s definitely hot property right now with those two great achievements.

“I know Jose’s done similar but that was 10, 12 years ago.

“Conte, he must have something. The system of the three at the back doesn’t look as exciting as a 4-3-3 but it is so effective when you get it right.”

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