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Tottenham appoint Antonio Conte as new manager

Tottenham Hotspur have named Antonio Conte as manager until the end of the 2022-23 season, the Premier League club said, a day after sacking Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo.

Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Conte replaces Nuno, who was fired on Monday after 17 matches in charge, with Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by Manchester United in the league, his final game with the Spurs.

Conte, 52, had been out of work since May when he terminated his contract at Inter having been unhappy with their plans to reduce investment and cut costs shortly after leading them to their first Serie A title in 11 years.

“I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist (in the title race) again,” Conte said in a statement.

“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.”

Spurs had topped the Premier League standings in August under Nuno after winning their opening three games but are now ninth, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea after 10 matches and five points off the Champions League qualifying places.

Conte’s first game in charge will be Thursday’s Conference League group stage match at home to Vitesse Arnhem.

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‘Right Time’

Conte was linked with the Tottenham job in the close season when the club sought a permanent replacement following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho, but the Italian said it was too soon to take up a new role after leaving Inter.

“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching,” Conte added.

“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of (Tottenham chairman) Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”

A former Italy coach, Conte will be tasked with reviving the fortunes of Spurs, who were Champions League finalists in 2019 but are now struggling in the third-tier Europa Conference League.

They sit third in their group, three points behind French side Rennes and two off Dutch team Vitesse, with win from three games.

Tottenham have been poor in attack this season, having scored nine goals in 10 league games, with key striker Harry Kane looking well below his best.

The England international, last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner with 23 goals, has scored once in nine league appearances this season.

“We are delighted to welcome Antonio to the club. His track record speaks for itself, with vast experience and trophies in both Italy and England,” Spurs’ managing director of football Fabio Paratici said.

“I know first-hand the qualities Antonio can bring to us, having worked with him at Juventus, and look forward to seeing his work with our talented group of players.”

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