Antonio Conte reviews Man City defeat
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Tottenham are reportedly ‘courting’ former Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri as chairman Daniel Levy steps up plans for life after Antonio Conte. West Ham and Everton are also believed to be interested in the Lazio manager, who could be set for a return to the Premier League in the summer if Spurs part ways with their current boss.
Conte’s tenure in north London has soured in recent months despite leading the club to their best-ever start to a Premier League campaign. There has been an alarming dip in form with just three wins in the last 10 games in the Premier League and fans have been calling for a more attacking style of football.
Il Messaggero reports that Spurs are one of the Premier League clubs ‘courting’ the 64-year-old, and Sarri may feel like he has unfinished business in England after spending only one season in the Premier League with Chelsea. He guided the Blues to third place and a Europa League triumph in 2018-19 before leaving to take the vacant job at Juventus.
And that is where Sarri could come in, with the Italian’s tendency to focus on possession-based play and technical football. But if Levy is planning to hire the ex-Chelsea coach, Sarri may demand assurances that he can sign players that fit his system – Express Sport look at four potential targets who could fit the bill…
For the last six years, no player has been as frequently linked with a move to the Premier League without the move actually materialising. But if Sarri does take over at Spurs, he may decide to include Milinkovic-Savic in his luggage.
The 27-year-old is one of the most talented playmakers in Europe and has a proven track record of scoring from anywhere within 25 yards, managing double figures in both goals and assists last season for Lazio.
The Serbian just might be the missing piece in the Spurs jigsaw and a signing of his reputation would go some way to convincing Harry Kane to stick around. The only sticking point could be Lazio’s asking price of around £90million.
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Tottenham have been in discussions with Roma regarding a loan this month to bring in the out-of-favour attacker and Sarri will only know too well how talented Zaniolo can be, having faced him in the Rome derby in the opposite dugout.
The 23-year-old will be allowed to leave Roma for the right price and if Spurs can guarantee an Italian coach will be in charge no matter what happens with Conte, it could be enough to secure an agreement before the January 31 deadline.
It remains to be seen whether Zaniolo would fit in Sarri’s favoured 4-3-3 system, with Kane and Son Heung-min likely to be starters and Dejan Kulusevski a key player since singing from Juventus. But the Italian coach would appreciate a player of his creative influence to have at his disposal.
Conte is believed to be keen on signing former Manchester City full-back Porro from Sporting Lisbon, despite already having three right-backs at his disposal.
And yet, it seems that Porro could be more suited to Sarri’s system than the current Tottenham coach. A quick, technical player, Porro is not afraid to carry the ball forward and venture forward, something that aligns with the high-positioned full-backs in Sarri’s system.
The Spaniard is an attacking full-back who can also play at wing-back on the right flank and it is believed the 23-year-old could seal a £26m move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before the deadline, which would give Sarri the perfect start to assembling his squad.
A move that would upset Chelsea fans due to the rivalry between the clubs, it would make sense for Jorginho to rejoin his former mentor if he is released by the Blues this summer.
The Italy international is expected to leave on a free transfer this summer as Graham Potter reshapes his squad and the experienced midfielder, 31, would be. asound addition – in particular because of his knowledge of how Sarri operates.
He signed Jorginho for £57m when he took over as Chelsea coach and the holding midfielder became a key component of the side. Now seemingly surplus to requirements and unlikely to sign a new deal, Spurs can get one over their rivals by clinching his signature.
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