Antonio Conte reveals Sergio Reguilon may miss rest of season as Tottenham’s injury problems grow
Antonio Conte has revealed Sergio Reguilon may not play again this season, as the Tottenham head coach joked that his summer shopping list is growing “very, very big”.
Reguilon is set to miss Saturday night’s visit to quadruple-chasing Liverpool with a groin problem and Conte says he does not know if the Spanish wing-back will be fit to return before the end of the campaign.
Matt Doherty (knee), Japhet Tanganga (knee) and Oliver Skipp (pelvis) are already sidelined until pre-season, with Conte increasingly short of senior players for the run-in.
“Reguilon’s not available,” Conte said on Thursday. “He hasn’t trained with us and honestly I don’t know, as there are only two weeks until the end of the season, whether it will be possible for him to come back this season.”
Asked if he had already given chairman Daniel Levy and managing director Fabio Paratici a summer shopping list, Conte said: “No, no, no.
“We’re totally focussed on this season. Also, we’re finishing this season with only 15 players and at the moment it’s not convenient to give them a list. Because it would be very, very, very big!”
Spurs are two points behind fourth-place Arsenal in the race for Champions League football and host the Gunners next Thursday in a potentially-crucial north London derby.
Arsenal face Leeds at home this week, raising the distinct possibility that Spurs could be five points behind their rivals by the time they play.
Conte, though, says Jurgen Klopp’s juggernaut may be a better opponent for his side than the likes of Brighton and Brentford, who derailed Spurs’ top-four push with canny performances last month.
“For sure, when you play with a team that likes to play face to face, for the characteristic of my players and my team, maybe it’s better than when we find a team very very deep with not so much space to exploit,” Conte said.
“Also in the game against Leicester [last Sunday] we found a team [that likes to play] face to face - you attack, we attack, you attack, we attack. It’s better then when we find a team who defends very deep and doesn’t [allow us to] find space.”
Conte said Dejan Kulusevski, who is on an 18-month loan from Juventus is “100 percent” a Tottenham player, regardless of whether the club takes up the option to make the deal permanent this summer or next.
Spurs have the option to sign Kulusevski for £25million this summer or £30m in a year’s time, having already paid a loan fee to the Old Lady.
“He’s on loan but it’s like a deal ended,” Conte said. “He’s a Tottenham player 100 percent, in every aspect.
“Not officially but he’s 100 percent a Tottenham player.”