Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has insisted he was simply joking when he claimed he could be sacked by the club before the end of the season.
The boss’ contract expires in the summer but, after watching Spurs crash out of the Champions League against AC Milan, Conte said he might not even make it that far as he could be sacked by the club in response to the defeat.
Pressed on those comments ahead of Spurs’ meeting with Southampton at the weekend, Conte argued he was simply trying to make a joke.
“This was a provocation about my future, a joke, ‘una battuta’,” Conte said.
He continued: “You asked me about the future and I said to you that you don’t know what happens, because maybe the club can sack me. But I repeat: I don’t think the club is thinking this. The club sees every day what me and my staff, we are doing for this club. It was only an answer about my future.
“There is not one club that can tell the manager you stay here until the end of the season. You know football is really strange. you don’t know what happens tomorrow, you understand.”
Instead, Conte argued that the uncertainty over his future is actually a positive reflection of the work he has done with Spurs.
“I repeat: in my opinion we try in every moment to do everything, me and my staff,” he said. “And I think the club appreciates this. Because if you continue to ask me if I sign a new contract, it means that maybe the club appreciates what we are doing, the work that we doing, in this one year and a half.”
90min understands that Conte is expected to leave Spurs this summer, with the club prepared to waive the chance to extend his contract by a further 12 months.
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