LONDON, March 17 — Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said on Thursday he does not expect to lose his job before the end of the season despite speculation over who will be his successor as Spurs manager.
Conte’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign but there appears little intention on either side to extend the Italian’s deal.
A poor start to March saw Tottenham exit both the FA Cup and Champions League, but they are in pole position to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and could even go third this weekend with victory at Southampton.
Conte has only recently returned to his day-to-day duties in London after recovering in Italy from Gallbladder surgery.
“You asked me about the future and I said to you that you don’t know what happens, because maybe the club can sack me,” Conte said at his pre-match press conference.
“But I repeat, I don’t think the club is thinking this. The club sees every day what me and my staff, we are doing for this club. It was only an answer about my future.
“I think there is not one club that can tell the manager you stay here until the end of the season. You know football is really strange.
“You don’t know what happens tomorrow, you understand? But I repeat, in my opinion we try in every moment to do everything, me and my staff, and I think the club appreciates this.”
Tottenham’s FA Cup and Champions League elimination has sparked fresh debate over Harry Kane’s future.
The England captain is yet to win a major trophy in his career and will have just one year left on his contract at the end of the season.
Manchester United are reportedly preparing a bid to lure Kane to Old Trafford.
“I think this is a question for the club,” added Conte. “For sure the club wants to involve Harry Kane for the rest of his career, in my opinion.
“Because when you have this type of player, a world-class striker like him, you want him to stay here for the rest of his life.
“But then, you know football. Sometimes it’s unpredictable but it’s not in my task to make a decision. This is the decision for the club and for Harry.”
Conte’s arrival midway through last season helped inspire Spurs to finish fourth.
And he hit back at criticism of his record at the club.
“I think in every season to finish in the top four means you had a good season,” he said.
“You can see the table, you can see there are important teams, teams that in the past won trophies, important trophies and now they’re struggling for a place in Champions League.
“I think this race will be really difficult this season.” — AFP