‘Weird’ Conte move blamed amid claim several Tottenham stars are putting plans to leave in place

Antonio Conte, September 2022 Credit: Alamy
Antonio Conte, September 2022 Credit: Alamy

Multiple stars will be exploring how to secure a way out of Tottenham thanks in large part to a “weird situation” that’s arisen solely because of Antonio Conte, per one observer.

Tottenham are once again coming to something of a crossroads as a club. They were lauded for their ambition when securing the services of Antonio Conte part-way through last season. Conte came with a reputation as a serial winner, though the Spurs job appears to have proved trickier than he might’ve expected.

Tottenham did land a significant blow on north London rivals Arsenal when pipping them to fourth spot last season. However, that disappointment has only served as fuel to Arsenal’s fire who are now favourites to be crowned Premier League champions come May.

Spurs, meanwhile, are in a desperate battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League. What’s more, the rumblings Conte is unhappy with the club’s transfer business have not gone away.

The backdrop to the issue is Conte’s own personal contract situation. The Italian’s current deal expires in the summer and the belief is Tottenham don’t want to spend big without first knowing who their new signings will be playing for next season and beyond.

Conversely, Conte doesn’t want to pen fresh terms until given assurances he’ll be properly backed in the market.

The Times recently reported talks over a new deal have been put on hold. That development has sparked a strong response from one observer who thinks many members of the Tottenham squad will secretly be tasking their agents with exploring a move away amid the ongoing uncertainty.

“I think players are looking at leaving”

“It’s not helping anyone, all of this, it’s a dark cloud hanging over the club,” former Hiberian striker and pundit Tam McManus told Football Insider.

“How are you supposed to go about your day-to-day when you don’t know if the manager is going to be there? It’s a weird situation.

“How can you ask a player to commit if you aren’t going to commit yourself? There is a lot of uncertainty. I think players are looking at leaving.

“Not in terms of a transfer request but in terms of speaking to their agents and seeing if there is interest, just in case.

“So if Conte goes in the summer or before the end of the season there is almost a plan in place to get to a new club.

“With all of these things going on, how is anyone supposed to focus on Tottenham and getting into the top four?

“I don’t know if everyone is pulling in the same direction and that’s not a good thing.”

Onus on Tottenham in window’s final days

With the January 31 deadline fast approaching, the final few days in the winter window could prove incredibly important for Spurs.

They’ve already landed Arnaut Danjuma on loan and remain in contention to sign Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo.

Elsewhere, Tottenham are making progress in their pursuit of Pedro Porro. Inter’s Milan Skriniar has also been put up for sale and Conte knows the Slovakian well from his time at the San Siro.

If Tottenham secure a high profile signing or two in the next few days, Conte may be emboldened to commit his future and any lingering unrest among the current squad could be put to bed.

READ MORE: Pedro Porro: Comparing his 2022/23 league stats to current Tottenham right-backs

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