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Conte praises Liverpool model as he mulls Spurs future


London (AFP) – Antonio Conte said he would have no hesitation in committing his long-term future to Tottenham if he were given the same backing that Jurgen Klopp has enjoyed at Liverpool.

Conte agreed an 18-month contract when he took over from the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo in November, but the Italian has continually refused to pledge his long-term future to Tottenham.

He recently revealed that his future would be decided after an end-of-season meeting with chairman Daniel Levy and football managing director Fabio Paratici.

Conte, whose Tottenham team are fighting for a top-four spot in the Premier League, has been linked with French champions Paris Saint-Germain but last week he described the speculation as “fake news”.

Ahead of Tottenham’s match against quadruple-chasing Liverpool on Saturday, Conte said the key factor in his future would be whether the club was able to match his ambition and give him the tools to challenge for the league title.

Klopp, given time and hefty backing in the transfer market, has turned the fortunes of Liverpool around since joining the club in 2015.

Asked at his pre-match press conference whether Spurs were in a similar position now to where Liverpool were when Klopp took over, Conte said: “I don’t know but if I was sure this type of situation can happen, I sign, you understand?

“But also the time for Liverpool was easier than now because when Liverpool started this work with Jurgen, they were a top team but not in a way they are now — so consolidated with an important manager, always the same team, big investment, big money spent on the transfer market.”

Conte, who has won league titles with Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, said spending big money was vital.

“To reduce this gap, you need to spend a lot of money because you need to buy important players,” he said. 

“You have to know this otherwise you cannot reduce this gap and hope always for a miracle.”

Tottenham challenged for the Premier League and Champions League under former manager Mauricio Pochettino — now in charge of PSG — but they have slipped down the pecking order in recent seasons.

Conte said Liverpool were an example of how to build a top-quality team.

“You need time,” he said. “I think in these seven months we did a really good job with the club and the opportunity we had also in January to sign two good players for us (Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur) to help us, to improve the quality of the team.

“I think we did a good job but, for sure, you need time. Liverpool is a clear example.”

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