Soccer

Antonio Conte explains Tottenham’s summer transfer hopes with "big investment"

Antonio Conte claims qualifying for the Champions League this season would be like winning the title for Tottenham as he spoke about the amount spent on players by the the top six.

The Italian has once again urged Spurs to splash the cash if they want to dream of one day winning the game's biggest prizes. Conte's side face Arsenal on Thursday knowing a win for the Gunners would mean Mikel Arteta's side pipping Tottenham for a top-four finish.

But he believes they have done well just to be in the race for the Champions League places because both teams sit outside of a Big Four whose spending power gives them a massive advantage over Spurs.

Spurs boss Conte said: "You have to know to take a place in the Champions League in England is very, very difficult. This season Manchester United missed qualification, otherwise in my mind you start with the four teams at the top. At the start the race for the Champions League seems close, four teams – Manchester City, Liverpool, United and Chelsea. Then it happens during the season that someone can be in trouble and you have to be ready. It happened this season. We are trying with Arsenal to find a position in the Champions League. I repeat: In England, it's like winning a title in another country, it is a big achievement."

Tottenham can only dream of competing for the Premier League title as they sit 24 points behind leaders City. But Conte said: "Every club in England that wants to compete to win the title has to invest important money. Not only Tottenham. I read recently that Mikel Arteta said now they want to have another step forward and be competitive for the title. And for sure, you have to make a big investment because you can organise your team, give your players every type of information, train well and take care of the details.

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"But in the end you need to have important players because top players bring you to win. In the last season, City bought Jack Grealish for £100m. Chelsea Romelu Lukaku for £100m. And United Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo. If the top teams spent a lot of money, you have to think that for a team that starts a bit lower than the others, how much do they have to spend to be competitive? I'm agreed with Pep Guardiola when he said money is not the only important thing – he has worked very hard with his players, created a monster, a really good team and you can see his work.

"But at the same time, I think the money is important to improve the quality and level of your team. To win the title, Tottenham needs time, patience and then to go step by step. I think you have just started this path and the others are at the end of this path. They built a solid foundation and then can add one or two players to improve their squad. I think now we are at the start of this path and we need more time. You can't think you can change the situation in one transfer market or one season. For this reason, time and patience."

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