Antonio Conte is set to become the new Tottenham manager but a report claims he will struggle to bring one of his most valued Inter Milan players to north London.
Conte will reportedly sign an 18-month deal with Spurs and is expected to take training on Tuesday ahead of the club’s Europa League Conference clash against Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday.
Rumours are flying as to which players Conte will look to sign in January and beyond and FcInterNews (via Sport Witness) claim he is ‘thinking about Inter star Nicolo Barella’.
Conte signed Barella from Cagliari while in charge of Inter, is a big admirer of the midfielder’s qualities and would covet his impact at Tottenham.
But while the 24-year-old is interested in a move to the Premier League, it’s claimed he is ‘only tempted by Manchester United’.
Inter are trying to tie Barella down to a new long-term deal and were said to be concerned last week as Conte was named a potential candidate to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.
The Italian reportedly wanted Barella as his ‘first target’ at United, but any hope the Italy international had of joining ‘vanished’ after the 3-0 win over Spurs secured Solskjaer’s job for a while longer at least.
Despite Conte’s excellent managerial record, Jamie Carragher claims he will “need more than 18 months” to turn Spurs around.
“From a selfish point of view, I’d love Conte back in the Premier League,’ Carragher added.
“I think he was a revelation first time around, he’s a brilliant character and personality. I’d love to see him back in the Premier League so I hope it does get done.
“I think a manager is going to need more than 18 months to turn Tottenham around.
“And even though I’m a huge admirer of Antonio Conte and how quickly he enjoyed success with Chelsea and every club he’s been at, I think it would be very difficult to replicate that success in 18 months.
“I think he could need another 18 months on top of that to get Tottenham maybe back to where they were under Pochettino where you thought they had a chance of winning trophies, pushing people for the title, Champions League year in, year out.
“I think there’s a lot of work to be done. Do I think Conte can turn it around in 18 months? I think it’ll be difficult even for a man of his character.”