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Tottenham Hotspur in ‘advanced talks’ with Antonio Conte

Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards talk about Carlo Ancelotti's surprising return to Real Madrid after leaving Everton.

Serial winner and noted short-term man Antonio Conte to Tottenham Hotspur?

At first blush, it sounds crazy. Conte has presided over free-spending, mega-budget teams since leaving Siena for Juventus in 2011, leading Chelsea and Inter Millan (as well as the Italian national team).

Let’s get the jokes out of the way: How is Tottenham going to play three at the back when they’ve been playing no one there? Anyway, back to the news and analysis.

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But if Tottenham is serious about holding onto Harry Kane and willing to spend to restore its status in North London, then Conte is the sort of man who is going to drive a group of players to their potential and have them totally prepared for any opponent.

He led Inter to end Juventus’ long scudetto hold this season, having led Juventus’ insane 102-point season in 2013-14 before leaving for Italy duty.

Fabrizio Romano has the most details on the “advanced talks” between Tottenham and Conte, saying that the boss wants former Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici installed as Spurs’ director of football.

This would be a massive hire for Tottenham that would come attached to some equally huge conditionals: If Tottenham is willing to spend to bring in the players Conte wants and if Conte is capable of accepting that even with that spending there will be some limits he hasn’t had in some time, then Spurs instantly feel like more of a contender even given roster flaws.

Why? Conte is that good at his job.

The 51-year-old loves a 3-5-2 but will sometimes use a system more like what Thomas Tuchel did at Chelsea this year with three more distinct attackers. In fact, he did that quite a bit at Chelsea.

Who would fit in from Tottenham’s current crop? Harry Kane and Heung-min Son for sure, but Spurs’ crop of center backs are nowhere near the level sought by Conte.

At Chelsea, Conte uses Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger more than any other center backs, with Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen also seeing a lot of time.

Follow @NicholasMendola