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‘Match the demands’ – Antonio Conte to Tottenham could still happen after both sides’ negotiating ploy

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Tottenham appointing Antonio Conte as their next manager should not be completely ruled out, according to Italian football expert Gabriele Marcotti. Conte emerged as a strong candidate to become the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho at Spurs last week. However, talks broke down between the two parties over wage demands and the former Chelsea head coach’s trophy-winning ambitions, writes the Express.

Conte resigned from his role as Inter Milan boss last month after a disagreement with the club’s owners.

The 51-year-old has been linked with the jobs at both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, though Real re-appointed Carlo Ancelotti earlier this week.

Conte and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy are claimed to have clashed over the Italian’s demands.

But Marcotti reckons both sides could be using a “negotiating ploy” and a deal is not dead in the water yet.

“I wouldn’t even necessarily take it as a given that this is done with,” Marcotti told ESPN FC.

“My understanding is that talks have stalled and Spurs are looking elsewhere but we’ve seen this negotiating ploy before, hoping one side or the other blinks and we could be headed in that direction.

“But the fact that [Mauricio] Pochettino all of a sudden is top of the list again, I think that also tells you something.”

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is now one of the favourites to become the next Tottenham boss, along with PSG’s Pochettino.

Marcotti is expecting Spurs to approach both Conte and Pochettino again.

“I genuinely don’t know [who Tottenham will appoint],” he added.

“I would imagine they probably will try to take another run at Conte and another run at Pochettino.

“But Pochettino has a lot of cards to play and I think Conte does too.”

Meanwhile, European football reporter Julien Laurens has ridiculed Spurs’ approach for Conte, saying they should not have initiated contact if they were not willing to match his demands.

“It is [a waste of time] but maybe Gab is right, maybe they will finally find an agreement at some point,” Laurens said.

“Otherwise it looks like you’re walking into a Lamborghini shop with the budget of buying a Peugeot.

“And then you go in and say ‘I would love that Lamborghini, how about you do me a little discount there and I only take two of the five seats?’. It doesn’t work like this.

“If you can’t afford Conte, don’t even go there.”

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