Antonio Conte satisfied despite stalemate
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Tottenham director Fabio Paratici could soon be forced to plan for life without Harry Kane ahead of next season. The England skipper is believed to be a January target for Manchester City, who tried and failed to bring him to the Etihad Stadium at the beginning of the current campaign.
Spurs reportedly turned down at least two nine-figure bids for Kane, who has endured a torrid start to the season with just one Premier League goal in 10 appearances.
However, if he departs north London at the turn of the year, it would serve as the perfect excuse for Paratici to mount a lucrative summer spending spree in order to establish Spurs as genuine Premier League title contenders at the next time of asking.
With that in mind, Express Sport takes a look at the star-studded side that could eventually take shape under Antonio Conte in the absence of Kane.
Goalkeeper – Martinez
Tottenham have been credited with a desire to land Aston Villa goalkeeper and former Arsenal man Emiliano Martinez since the end of last season.
Paratici could be forced into recruiting a new man between the sticks in the near future, with Hugo Lloris set to become a free agent in the summer as things stand.
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However, it remains to be seen whether Villa would be prepared to let go of Martinez, who has emerged as one of the Premier League’s finest shot-stoppers in recent years.
Defence – Romero, De Ligt, Davies
Spurs have been crying out for a top-class central defender for some time, with Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt able to offer the perfect solution.
The Dutchman is said to be weighing up the idea of a fresh challenge ahead of next season and has reportedly been shopped around Europe by his agent, Mino Raiola, in recent weeks.
De Ligt is a player that Paratici knows well from his time in charge of Juventus and Kane’s potential sale could provide Spurs with the available funds to bankroll a big-money approach for his signature.
Midfield – Emerson, Hojbjerg, Lo Celso, Kessie, Reguilon
Paratici could also look to improve Tottenham’s midfield ranks with the addition of Franck Kessie, who is said to be in high demand ahead of the January window.
Spurs are believed to be keeping tabs on the AC Milan enforcer, while Liverpool and Manchester United have also been credited with an interest in his services.
Kessie’s arrival would help to shore up Conte’s options in the middle of the park, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele able to feature alongside the Ivory Coast international next season.
Meanwhile, Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon will likely reprise their full-back roles, with Giovani Lo Celso or Dele Alli set to be tasked with pulling the strings behind the strikers.
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Attack – Vlahovic, Son
A successful move for Fiorentina marksman Dusan Vlahovic could see Conte experiment with a two-up-top system ahead of next season.
The 21-year-old has firmly established himself as one of Europe’s finest young strikers as of late and is said to be near the very top of Conte’s list of targets.
A move for his services is unlikely to come on the cheap, but Spurs would be forced to land a top-class replacement for Kane in the event of his departure and such a move is undoubtedly going to cost a pretty penny.
Meanwhile, Son Heung-min has excelled in front of goal in recent years and could be primed to thrive in a more advanced role alongside Vlahovic up top.
Possible Tottenham XI (3-4-1-2) – Martinez; Romero, De Ligt, Davies; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Kessie, Reguilon; Lo Celso; Vlahovic, Son.
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