Antonio Conte has insisted his focus at Tottenham is on the present after he refused to be drawn on plans for the January transfer window.
Spurs host Sporting in the Champions League on Wednesday knowing victory in the Group D fixture would send them through to the last 16. They enter the match following back-to-back defeats and with injuries piling up, which led Conte to ask whether a busy winter market could be key to a strong second half of the campaign.
“I think the club understand very well the importance of bringing in important players, good players, in January. I’m not the person who has to explain this to my club,” Conte said. “If you ask me in January what happens when we have to play many other games, we will have to try to do our best.
“I repeat we have to take this big achievement of going to the next round tomorrow and take this opportunity to do it. We want to finish in the best possible way before the World Cup. My priority now is not January but to finish in the best possible way before the World Cup.”
Conte has spoken in recent weeks about the process Tottenham are on to become genuine contenders in the Premier League and Champions League. It was put to the 53-year-old Italian that Spurs have an opportunity this season with Chelsea and Manchester United under new management and seemingly in transition. But Conte refuted that notion.
“This season will be more difficult than last season because after the transfer market you have seen many, many teams have spent a lot. You have to face a lot of big teams. For sure there will be the time to speak with the club. To understand what is the best solution for us.”