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The lowdown on Antonio Conte and PSG, release clause talk and Daniel Levy’s calls to Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur’s serial award-winning head coach Antonio Conte has been salaciously linked with a switch to PSG this summer to replace one of Spurs’ former coaches, Mauricio Pochettino.

The confluence of a post-season meeting at Tottenham Hotspur with another similar meeting of like nature at PSG could prove to be more incidental than otherwise in defining the fate in north London of Antonio Conte in relation to that of his Parisian counterpart Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham’s final games of last season were were riddled with talk about the future of Harry Kane, yet 12 months on it is the future of Conte that is now the subject of discussion with his team facing five crucial matches in their bid to finish fourth in the Premier League in the hope of gaining entry to the Champions League next season.

A report in France has emerged claiming that the Italian has offered himself to PSG as the successor to Pochettino with rumors of the latter likely of being sacked ‘imminently’ at the closure of this season. However, reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano has reported that the rumors circulating are not from Conte’s camp and are but mere speculation as the Italian is still under contract for another season at Spurs and there is no official break clause this summer in the celebrated former Inter Milan manager’s deal.

Even before the season’s end meeting between the head coach, chairman Daniel Levy and managing director of football Fabio Paratici about Conte’s situation at Tottenham, speculation is already circling about the Italian’s remainder of the campaign this season. The 52-year-old had made a public disclosure that the club is further back in their development than he had expected it to be. Undeniablyt he has since hauled them out of the mess they were in when he arrived in November to a side is now sitting fourth with five games to go.

Coincidentally the buzz at PSG seems ot be a perfect fit for Conte should his counter part Pochettino depart for Tottenham after insistent rumors of Daniel Levy plying his forner manager with phone calls to return to Goodison Park.

As it is, the Spurs fans’ frustration with the club’s hierarchy is expected to rise if Conte were to walk after the season ends, lasting just over six months after former Wolves’ manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s premature exit. The situation has also been exacerbated by Conte’s not shying away from stating that he believes he is better than the stage Tottenham are currently at.

How he deals with questions about the PSG links and next season at this Friday’s press conference ahead of the match against Leicester will no doubt be closely scrutinised. Spurs have been planning for a pre-season under the Italian, with two games to be played in South Korea, talks held over a friendly against Rangers in Glasgow on their return and then a match in Israel against a European opponent the weekend before the Premier League season begins.

For Conte, much will depend on the situation around him and what he believes the club is able to do next season and he has previously indicated that he will have no hesitation in walking away if he is not backed.

“Honestly I have my vision and the vision is this, it does not change,” he said last month. “The vision was the same in the past, the vision is the same in the present, the vision will be the same in future. The vision will be this. I stop if the vision of someone is not the same. OK. It is OK. I have a vision. One vision. I want to fight to win. I want to fight to be competitive. I want to feel that we only have one per cent but we need one per cent to win the title or a trophy in which we participate.

“We have to feel this. This is my vision and I continue to have this vision. And then I know that there are different visions and many clubs have different visions but I think which is my vision and the vision that brought me to be competitive and for sure I follow my vision in any case.”

He added then: “In this moment it is important to be focused on the present and we have a lot of time to sit around the table and then to speak about everything. At the end of the season everyone has to speak about their own vision, and I speak about my vision, and I think also the club will speak about their vision, and Paratici will speak about his vision, and then we will see. After this we will see now is too early. We have to be in the present, the future is very far in this moment. For sure there will be a moment when we will go to take decisions.”

Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia