Conte to discuss January transfer strategy in coming days

News Desk
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte will sit down in the next few days to plan for the January transfer window.

The transfer window opens in a fortnight and the expectation is that Spurs will want to do some business, with fringe players expected to leave and reinforcements brought in to strengthen the squad.

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Conte, who joined the north London club at the beginning of last month, insists he never spoke about January prior to his arrival and has wanted to evaluate the players he has had.

The recent outbreak of Covid-19 has delayed discussions with managing director of football Fabio Paratici, but Conte says they will take place soon.

“In this moment we’re not thinking about the transfer window,” he said. “We’ve had many, many problems to face and try to solve.

“It was very difficult to speak about other topics. For sure, in the next days we’ll try to have a meeting to speak about the situation and see if there’s a way to improve the squad and in which way.

“In this moment, I’m making an evaluation about the whole squad.

“Covid will be a good opportunity for someone to show me they deserve to continue to play for Tottenham.”

Spurs are set to return to action for the first time in two weeks when Liverpool visit north London on Sunday.

They have seen games with Rennes, Brighton and Leicester all called off due to coronavirus, with Thursday’s visit to the King Power Stadium being postponed on the morning of the match.

Conte says that morale in the camp has been affected by the late scheduling changes.

“The morale was very, very down, also because we prepared and had training sessions to play games,” he said. “We prepared for all these games and in two weeks, three times we didn’t play.

“For example yesterday (Thursday), we were ready to play against Leicester. We were there and then before lunch they told us the game was postponed. Then lunch, another travel, when we arrived (back at Hotspur Way) another training session. It’s not easy.

“It’s also not easy to explain to the players and find the right energy when you’re prepared to play and the game is postponed. To come back, have another training session and today to prepare for another game versus Liverpool and you don’t know if you are able to play.

“It’s not simple, surely. If the morale is down, I think I can justify (that in) my players and the whole environment.

“But at the same time we’re ready to play on Sunday an important game against a really good, amazing team. With the difficulty we’re facing, we’re ready to play this game.”

Nine of Spurs’ first-team players contracted the virus and some of them remain in isolation, with Conte indicating that others who are back in training are still not ready to play.

Sergio Reguilon should be fit after he picked up a hamstring injury in the club’s last match against Norwich, while Giovani Lo Celso (knee) is also back after a lengthy absence.

Conte said: “Sergio until Friday trained apart but he’s ready to have the training session with us on Saturday and the player is comfortable to be back in training with us.

“I hope that he’s totally recovered but today Sergio was happy. His feeling was good.”