PREMIER LEAGUE

Antonio Conte's tasks at Tottenham: squad rebuild and convincing Kane

Antonio Conte was appointed as new manager at Tottenham on Tuesday. The Italian, who takes over from Nuno, plans to overhaul the squad.

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Antonio Conte's tasks at Tottenham: squad rebuild and convincing Kane
MIGUEL MEDINA AFP

Antonio Conte was appointed manager at Tottenham on Tuesday. The 62-year-old Italian takes the reins from Nuno Espirito Santo, who was sacked from the post yesteday. Spurs had been targetting Conte for several months and had originally wanted to bring him in as Jose Mourinho's successor at the end of last season. He has a job on his hands - the team is currently ninth in the Premier League table, with 15 points from 10 games; they trail leaders Chelsea by 10 points and are five points off the top four. So Conte will really have to turn things around if Spurs are to qualify for next year's Champions League. His team face tough competition -  Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham are all better placed for the last berth at the moment. 

Conte's first game in charge at Spurs

Unfortunately, Tottenham aren't doing much better in Europe. They have been struggling on the road in the first edition of the Conference League but have been getting results at home. Conte will take some comfort in that as his first game in charge is against Vitesse, in London, on Thursday.  Spurs are third in their qualifying group on four points - two behind Vitesse and three behind leaders Rennes.

Success, whether in the Premier League, FA Cup or Europe is paramount to whether Harry Kane stays at the club or tries his luck elsewhere. The England captain is under contract until June 2024 but contemplating a move to a club where he might enjoy the kind of success he is not getting at Spurs. City, who have been without an out-and-out striker since Kun Agüero's departure, would offer that and they have been strong linked to Kane.   

Apart from getting the team's confidence back, results coming in and hopefully, convincing Kane to stick out the next two years of his contract, Conte's other task at Tottenham will be to start rebuilding the squad and clearing out all of the dead wood. Giovani Lo Celso has disappointed since his 32M euro move from Betis - injury blighted his first season and he has only made a handful of starts across three competitions with a return of one goal in 12 appearances. He, along with Steven Bergwijn and Dele Alli could be on the way out of the club. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the sword could also fall on Lucas Moura in Conte's plans to revitalise Spurs attack.

Some outlets claim that Daniel Levy has approved 175 million euros towards new signings but luring the players that Conte has in mind won't be easy. Among the players who could soon be available are AC Milan's Franck Kessié and Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic, both could be snapped up on free transfers next summer although Spurs are not the only clubs interested in the pair. Atlético Madrid are believed to have Vlahovic lined up for next season while Kessie, who is valued at 55 million euros, has drawn interest from Juventus, Liverpool, PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid.