ntonio Conte has said it would be “foolish” for him to ask Tottenham to spend big money on “a lot of players” in the final weeks of the transfer window, as he warned that the club cannot afford to make mistakes in the market.
Spurs have made six new signings this summer but remain in a strong financial position following a £150million cash injection from owners ENIC.
Conte is thought to want another attacking midfielder or forward and a centre-back but the club is currently prioritising fixing previous mistakes in the market, with Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso both transfer listed and training individually, along with Harry Winks and Sergio Reguilon.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s return to his former club Chelsea, Conte said he is happy with his squad and suggested it would be risky to demand too much, too soon.
“We are talking about a good squad,” Conte said. “We have just started our process to try to build a strong squad. This is normal because after only eight months, I think we did a really good job with the club together to improve the players that I started to play with.
“In January, to bring two players like Deki [Dejan Kulusevski] and Rodrigo [Bentancur]. And now in the last transfer market to bring other players to improve ourselves.
“We have to continue in this way but I know very well that I can’t have everything quickly because it would be foolish to ask for a lot of players and to spend a lot of money. I think that we are doing the right things with common sense, not to spend an amount of money for many players, also because this is not the politics of the club. I understand this. You have to go in the right way, doing the right things and I think we are doing this.”
Conte’s Spurs lost three times to Chelsea in January without scoring, but since their last meeting they have matched their rivals’ points-per-game, scored more goals and conceded fewer.
Following the first of those defeats, a 2-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, Conte described the level of his squad as “in the middle” and said there was no comparing them with the Blues.
Asked if he was surprised by how quickly his side have improved, the Italian said: “For sure, to see the change of the team in such a short time is a really good surprise.
“It’s positive, it’s positive for me. I can be surprised for the short time that we needed to do this. Now there is the more difficult part, because to have a good improvement quickly can happen but when you stay on one level, to have another step and another step becomes more difficult.
“It’s because you have to continue to work, don’t make mistakes about the players, signing the players, and this is really, really important because now is not the time for Tottenham to make mistakes in the transfer market. No.”
New signing Clement Lenglet will miss the game at Stamford Bridge with fatigue in his adductor muscle, while Oliver Skipp is expected to be sidelined for a further “couple of weeks” with a hairline fracture in his heel. Richarlison is back from suspension and could make his debut.