Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte wants to sign Manchester United target Kalvin Phillips in the summer
According to The Telegraph (Subscription Required), Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte is looking at signing a horde of players in the summer and has identified Manchester United target and Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips as a potential option.
Conte was brought in by Spurs last year to replace Nuno Espirito Santo in the hopes that the Italian head coach would replicate his success at Chelsea, Juventus, and Inter Milan in the past to help the north London club break their long-standing trophy drought.
However, the Tottenham boss will face competition from United in their chase to secure the services of Phillips, who has been one of Leeds’ most consistent performers as he has worked hard to help them gain promotion from the Championship into the Premier League.
His performances for the Yorkshire club have also seen him become a regular for the England national team. The 26-year-old was a key member of the squad that took the Three Lions to the final of the UEFA 2020 Euros.
Spurs battle United for Phillips
In the summer, Conte will be looking to buy new players in order to turn the Lilywhites into world-beaters next season, but UEFA’s homegrown rules may hamper his plans. As per the regulations, teams competing in Europe can only have 17 foreign players in their squads.
This situation is likely to impact the manager’s plans for his midfield, given that signing new stars would almost certainly lead to the departure of Harry Winks, one of the few senior players to count as ‘club trained’ as per UEFA.
This could be solved if the north London club goes after Phillips. Conte is said to be a fan of the Englishman, although it remains to be seen if club chairman Daniel Levy would be willing to match what rivals United could offer to sign the Elland Road favourite.
Spurs could certainly do with a midfielder next season, given that they saw three departures in January. Although Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele could return after their loan spells, it is unlikely that they would continue at N17 after Conte allowed them to depart in the first place.
The Red Devils are in no better condition, as they are likely to lose Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic in the summer when their contracts expire. Matic has already announced his exit from Old Trafford, while there have been no updates on Pogba’s future at the club.
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United certainly have the deep pockets to be able to afford Phillips in the upcoming transfer window, and with the knowledge that Levy is usually wary of spending too much on players from past history, the Manchester side may have the advantage in this transfer race.