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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte hits out at “disrespectful” Juventus links

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte hits out at “disrespectful” Juventus links

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has shot down “disrespectful” reports linking him with a possible return to Juventus.

Current Bianconeri head coach Massimiliano Allegri is coming under increasing pressure after a poor start to the new season, with Juve winning just two of their opening seven Serie A games.

The Old Lady have also suffered back-to-back losses to Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica in the Champions League, and chief Pavel Nedved is said to be eyeing up a reunion with Conte.

Reports from Italy last week claimed that Conte would be open to a return to Juventus after burying the hatchet with chairman Andrea Agnelli, with whom he had a fractious relationship during his time in Turin from 2011 to 2014.

However, speaking to reporters ahead of Saturday’s North London derby against Arsenal, Conte blasted the rumours and insisted that he was enjoying life in North London.

© Reuters

“This is incredible. In this period I think this is disrespectful for the coach that works in Juventus and for me working in Tottenham,” Conte responded.

“We have just started the season. Many times I have spoken about this topic and I’ve always said I’m happy and enjoying my time with Tottenham. We have the whole season to find the best solution for the club and for me, and for sure, I’m enjoying my time at Tottenham.

“I have a great relationship with the owner and [Fabio] Paratici [Spurs managing director of football]. I don’t see any problems at the moment in the future. We both signed the contract. I don’t want to listen to someone speaking about this [speculation].”

Conte spent two separate spells at Juventus between 2011 and 2014, during which he won three consecutive Serie A titles and two Supercoppa Italiana crowns before leaving to take up the Italy job.

The 53-year-old was tipped to make an early exit from Tottenham during their sticky period in the spring, but he remained in his post to help Spurs qualify for the Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte on August 6, 2022© Reuters

However, Conte is only under contract at Tottenham until the end of the season, and his future beyond the summer of 2023 remains shrouded in uncertainty.

So far this season, the Italian has guided Tottenham to five wins and two draws from their opening seven Premier League matches – only Manchester City have also made an unbeaten start to the campaign after seven games.

The Lilywhites head into Saturday’s North London derby in third place in the table – one point behind Arsenal, who would be leapfrogged if Spurs pick up their first league win at the Emirates since 2010.

Tottenham have been dealt a number of injury blows ahead of the derby, though, with Hugo Lloris sustaining a thigh injury and Dejan Kulusevski reportedly returning from Sweden duty with a tight hamstring.

While Conte refused to name names at his press conference, the Spurs boss did admit that his side were working around some “physical problems” before the lunchtime clash.

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