Tottenham boss Antonio Conte savages Premier League after detailing farcical managers’ meeting
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte described the meeting between the Premier League and its managers as like speaking to a “wall”.
Amid the rise of the Omicron variant, the Premier League is struggling to fulfil its fixture requirements at the busiest time of the year. Rounds of fixtures have been decimated over the past few weeks, though the decision was made to soldier on rather than impose a ‘circuit breaker’ hiatus.
A number of Premier League managers have been increasingly vocal with their concerns in recent weeks.
Two subjects have dominated their agendas – namely player welfare and a lack of clarity over why some matches have been postponed while others have gone ahead.
That led to a Premier League meeting with the managers on Thursday. However, speaking in his Friday press conference, Conte gave a withering verdict on the league’s willingness to listen.
Via Football London, Conte said of the meeting: “I have to be honest, I think that it was a meeting that…yeah we tried to speak.
“Some coaches tried to speak to ask about solutions but I think everything was decided and yesterday was a wall. For this reason also, I prefer not to go into the discussion or conversation.”
Meeting a waste of time?
When asked if the meeting was a waste of time, Conte admitted: “I think so.
“Because as I said before, when you have a wall in front of you, you can speak or ask what you want. But every decision was [already] taken.”
Tottenham will face Crystal Palace on Boxing Day at 3pm before taking on Southampton just 48 hours later.
Palace have received widespread acclaim for their more free-flowing and possession-based style under Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira this season.
On the subject of Vieira, Conte admitted he wasn’t surprised he has been a success so far.
“I’m not surprised. Patrick Vieira was a fantastic midfielder and usually when you are a midfielder you have more possibility to become manager,” said Conte.
“For the position during game you see both situations offensively and defensively.”
On the subject of team news, Conte kept his cards close to his chest.
“In this moment no news,” added the Tottenham boss. “Also because yesterday we had day off, Romero is injured and Sessegnon is injured. No news at the moment.”
Where does your team rank in a league table of Boxing Day Premier League fixtures?
Conte requests Tottenham land proven winner
Meanwhile, Conte has lodged a ‘specific request’ that could see Tottenham land a statement signing from Serie A champions Inter Milan, per a report.
At 29, Stefan de Vrij is in the prime of his career as a centre-back. However, the latest report from Sport Witness suggests Inter may have dropped the ball. Citing Inter News, they highlight a recent conversation that addressed Inter’s upcoming transfer plans.
Firstly, the cash-strapped Italians are prioritising contract renewals rather than transfer splashes. On their immediate agenda are reportedly new deals for Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic. In contrast, De Vrij is ‘not among’ their imminent to-do list.
De Vrij’s contract expires in the summer of 2023, meaning one of the next two windows would be the perfect time to cash in – if Inter decide to sever ties. That has opened the door for Tottenham, and Conte has reportedly made a ‘specific request’ to sign De Vrij.
Whether Inter would sanction a sale, or the size of fee they would command isn’t stated. However, a recent report from Football Italia stated £40m could get the job done.
Furthermore, De Vrij’s recent comments suggest he would be open to working Conte once more.
READ MORE: Paper Talk: Conte hands Paratici two Tottenham transfer orders but Levy creates big fear
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