Antonio Conte has stressed the importance of reinforcing his squad in January but has warned the Tottenham hierarchy that a handful of new signings will likely not be enough to take the club back to the top four.
Spurs have risen to seventh in the Premier League table and could be as high as fourth if they win their two games in hand, but unconvincing performances in the Europa Conference League and the recent 1-1 draw with Southampton have proven that the club are very much a work in progress.
Conte has previously admitted he hopes to be backed in January, but he warned owner Daniel Levy that all the team’s problems will not be solved by a handful of signings.
“We had a meeting one month after I took charge but I think it wasn’t the right the time,” said Conte (via the Daily Mail). “Now I’m ready. I’m waiting for the meeting with the club to speak about this. The meeting can tell you everything but it can also tell you nothing.
“You make qualification for Champions League in years, not in only two or three months or in only one transfer market. Football is not this way. I think that in this moment there are important teams. It will be very difficult.
“To get a place in the Champions League someone has to fail, but it must be a big failure. I think there are four big teams, they are the favourites in this moment.
“Then there are other teams that try to build with important investment in this year to try to reduce this gap.
“It’s not only one transfer market. Football is complicated, it’s not only money. You have to build. I’m here to do this but I know it will be very difficult. I want to be honest with everybody. To build something important we need to have time and patience. Now I’m sure, after I made my evaluation in the last two months.”
Conte is keen to find immediate reinforcements, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Spurs also have one eye on the future and are readying moves to sign impending free agents Franck Kessie and Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan.
Alongside sporting director Fabio Paratici, Conte knows the pair well from his time in Italy and they are keen to take advantage of their expiring contracts, although Spurs will face significant interest from across the globe.