TOTTENHAM chairman Daniel Levy pulled the plug on Antonio Conte because his ‘unrealistic’ demands could have sent the club into financial meltdown.
Levy held talks with former Chelsea chief Conte about becoming the new manager of Tottenham last week.
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But advanced negotiations broke down due to what Levy felt were excessive and potentially catastrophic financial demands from the Italian.
Levy — who told fans last month he intended to restore Spurs’ DNA by bringing in a boss who would blood homegrown stars — was also ‘wary’ of Conte’s reluctance to make use of the club’s academy talent.
But it was the monetary aspects that concerned the supremo most.
In addition to a whopping £15million-a-year salary, Conte wanted a huge warchest — believed to be in excess of £100m — for new signings.
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But Tottenham, with their £1billion stadium still to pay for, have been hit hard by the pandemic and had to take out a £150m loan to help them survive lockdown.
So Levy felt he could not justify agreeing to Conte’s demands in the current economic climate.
And with both parties so far apart, the job talks were scrapped.
Levy turned to Conte — a free agent having left Serie A champs Inter Milan last month — after his bid to bring back ex-boss Mauricio Pochettino from Paris Saint-Germain hit a brick wall.
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A senior Spurs source said: “As soon as Conte became available, we had a duty to speak with him.
“He is a fine coach with an excellent record.
“But Daniel felt his budgetary demands were not only unrealistic but also potentially damaging to our future.
“Daniel wants us to be successful more than anyone but not at the expense of the club itself.
“He knows any new manager is going to need money to improve the squad and he is certain to provide them with that.
“But there has to be a balance and it cannot leave the club in a perilous situation.”