Antonio Conte wants to earn the right to sign a new contract with Tottenham, but has hinted the club must match his ambitions to keep him for the long term.
Conte’s deal with Spurs expires at the end of the season, and although the club have an option for a one-year extension, the Italian has been linked with an exit on several occasions.
A return to Juventus has been touted as a possibility, but the Tottenham boss wants to show he deserves an extended stay in north London – so long as Spurs can help him achieve his own aims.
“My contract expires on June 30. Until that moment, the club has to make the best evaluation,” Conte said ahead of Tottenham’s meeting with Leeds United. “I think that everything needs to be deserved. For this reason, it’s important to see the rest of the season, what happens, if we are happy with the improvement we are doing.
“On my side, professionally, I have to feel that I deserve to sign a new contract with this club. If you’re used to fighting to win, it is also very important to match this situation and then, if you are lucky and find all of these situations, it’s simpler to stay for a long-term project. When this happens, you are a lucky person. Every manager dreams of this situation.”
Leeds have turned around their form in recent weeks, following up a hard-earned win at Liverpool with a thrilling comeback victory over Bournemouth, though Jesse Marsch knows a tough task waits for his team.
“They have such a quality squad,” he said of Spurs. “This is a big challenge once again, against a top opponent in our league. The beauty of where we are is we’re not perfect but we’re not afraid of top opponents.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tottenham – Dejan Kulusevski
Kulusevski enjoyed a brilliant cameo against Liverpool, on his return from injury, and was superb in Spurs’ defeat of Leeds last season, which signalled the end of Marcelo Bielsa’s tenure. With Leeds’ shaky defence, the winger should be confident of being in the thick of the action on Saturday.
Leeds United – Rodrigo Moreno
Moreno has scored in his last three Premier League games for Leeds, with Mark Viduka the last to score in four in a row for the Whites in the competition (April 2004).
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Like Rodrigo, Crysenico Summerville has found the net in his last three league appearances. If he scores on Saturday, he will be the youngest Leeds player to score in four straight Premier League games (21y 13d).
– This will be Marsch’s first meeting with Tottenham – American managers have lost all four of their Premier League games against Spurs, failing to score a single goal while conceding 13 in the process.
– Harry Kane has scored a league-high five headed goals in the Premier League this season – only in 2017-18 (six) has he scored more headers in a single campaign.
– Tottenham have scored a league-high nine Premier League goals from corners so far this season – they last scored more such goals in a single campaign back in 2015-16 (10).
– After an eight-game winless run, Leeds have now won their last two Premier League games. They last won more consecutively in May 2021 (four).