BBC radio pundit Noel Whelan has dismissed the rumours suggesting that Antonio Conte could quit Tottenham before the end of the season, but has said that it is imperative that Spurs qualify for the Champions League.
The Lowdown: Conte’s comments about Spurs future
The north Londoners have endured an up-and-down spell over the last few weeks, with results fluctuating throughout. In the Lilywhites’ last six Premier League games, Conte’s side suffered four losses, culminating with the manager’s worst run in over 12 years as Spurs lost three games in a row.
Following the 1-0 defeat to Burnley last week, Conte came out with some comments prompting speculation over his future. He said that he had to “speak with the club”, and that Daniel Levy and co “will have to assess” the situation.
The Latest: Whelan’s verdict on Conte at Spurs
When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of Conte’s future, Whelan claimed: “I don’t think he will quit.
“I think his comments in midweek were more out of frustration. He is frustrated by the lack of consistency.
“Champions League qualification will determine how much money he can spend in the summer and what calibre of player he can bring into Tottenham. You can only get that quality of player if you are in the Champions League.
“I’m sure he has been promised money but if you are in the Europa League you have to go for the band B of players rather than the band A.
“It has been stop and start at Spurs and that’s the most frustrating thing for Conte. It is vital that they finish in fourth.”
The Verdict: Top-four finish crucial
Given his glittering CV, having most recently won the 2020/21 Serie A title with Inter Milan, Conte will not be likely to stick around at Spurs for years to come, especially if his side fail to qualify for the Champions League.
This makes it imperative that Tottenham push as hard as they can for that top-four spot, as Levy will likely be doing anything he can to keep hold of the 52-year-old given his excellent track record in management.
However, currently sitting seventh and five points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, it could be a difficult task to return to Europe’s premier club competition unless Spurs find the kind of consistency which, as Whelan hinted, has eluded them lately.
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