Antonio Conte says he could be Tottenham’s answer to Jurgen Klopp but warns club ‘must spend a lot of money’

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Antonio Conte says he could be Tottenham’s answer to Jurgen Klopp but warns club ‘must spend a lot of money’
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Antonio Conte says he could be Tottenham’s answer to Jurgen Klopp but has warned the club must "spend a lot of money or hope for a miracle" to compete with Liverpool.

In the strongest indication yet that he may be prepared to commit to Spurs long-term, Conte said Klopp’s Liverpool were a "good example" to follow and suggested he would sign a new contract if he was sure he would be backed in the same way as the German at Anfield.

Conte’s deal runs until the end of next season but the Italian has consistently refused to commit to Spurs beyond the end of the current campaign.

Liverpool were 10th in the table when Klopp was appointed in October 2015 but he has led them to three Champions League Finals, beating Spurs in 2019, and a first league title in 30 years. Ahead of Spurs’ visit to Anfield on Saturday, the Reds are still in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.

Asked if there were comparisons between Liverpool when Klopp took over and Spurs today, Conte told Standard Sport: “I don’t know but if I was sure that type of situation could happen [here], I’d sign [a new contract]!

“But the time for Liverpool was easier than now," Conte added. “When Liverpool started this work with Jurgen, they were a top team but not in a way they are now - consolidated with an important manager, always the same team, big investment, big money spent in the transfer market.

“They had the right space to improve and reach this level. Now, in my opinion, it is more difficult because the space [for improvement] is not so big.

“To reduce this gap, you need to spend a lot of money because you need to buy important players. You have to know this otherwise you cannot reduce this gap and hope always for a miracle."

Klopp recently signed a new deal until 2026, which would take him to over a decade at Anfield. Asked if he could ever stay at a club for so long, Conte said: “First of all, it depends on the desire of the club. When Liverpool put Jurgen in charge seven years ago, they wanted to build something important.

“If you want to create something important you need time and you need patience, especially if you start working with a team that starts behind the top positions. It is not easy.

Antonio Conte (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
Antonio Conte (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

“In these seven months, we did a really good job with the club and in January signed two good players to improve the quality of the team.

“We did a good job but for sure you need time. Liverpool is a clear example. "They struggled at the start of Klopp’s path to qualify for the Champions League. Maybe they needed four years before they started to win.

“In England, it is more difficult because you find in this moment, four teams that if they don’t have a bad season, fight for the Premier League, the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and Champions League or Europa League.

“English teams are still present in every [European] competition: Champions, Europa and Conference.

“The final of the Carabao Cup was between Chelsea and Liverpool, now in the FA Cup, it’s Chelsea and Liverpool. The Premier League is a fight between Liverpool and Manchester City.

“It is not simple because you have a master in front of you, you need time, you need a big investment because you have to spend a lot of money if you want to be competitive and try to reduce this gap. Otherwise you have to accept to stay in the middle.”

Conte will be without Sergio Reguilon (groin) at Anfield amid fears the Spanish could miss the rest of the season. Oliver Skipp (pelvis), Matt Doherty (knee) and Japhet Tanganga (knee) are already sidelined for the campaign.

Spurs are two points behind fourth-placed rivals Arsenal, who they host on Thursday, with three games to play after their daunting visit to Anfield.

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