Antonio Conte has reportedly set out his conditions for joining Tottenham, including his request over club talisman Harry Kane.
Conte has emerged as the frontrunner for the vacant managerial post at Spurs after leaving Inter Milan last month.
The Italian led Inter to the Serie A title but clashed with his Nerazzurri bosses over their transfer policy and decided to depart.
Conte is no stranger to a frank exchange of views with club hierarchies and has made clear his demands for taking over at Spurs.
In his talks with Tottenham chiefs over succeeding Jose Mourinho in the hot seat, he also issued a specific instruction regarding Kane.
That’s according to The Times , which claims Conte will only agree to be appointed Spurs boss if he receives assurances Kane will stay beyond this summer.
Kane – who won the Premier League Golden Boot this season – informed the club last month he would like to leave this summer.
The England captain appears to be absolutely resigned to leaving; even the prospect of a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino was not enough to change his stance.
Spurs targeted their former manager over the last week but Paris Saint-Germain took swift action to prevent him from departing.
While Kane has a strong bond with Pochettino, he has no relationship with Conte, whose only spell managing in England was a two-year stint with Chelsea between 2016 and 2018.
But Conte has previously spoken highly of the 27-year-old and appears intent on working alongside him in north London.
“For me, Kane, now, is one of the best strikers in the world,” said Conte in 2017. “If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker.
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“He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he’s strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left. He’s a complete player.
“He’s one of the top strikers in the world. If you go to buy Kane now it would be at least £100m.
“At least. For me, if I see this price for a striker I know for sure he’s a big striker.”
While Conte’s move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is edging closer, there are still many details to be thrashed out, including his salary demands.
He is said to be seeking a contract worth an eye-watering £8.5million per season, which is more than what Pochettino earned during his time with the club.
There is also a question mark over the make-up of the potential new Spurs hierarchy, with the club considering the appointment of a sporting director to work alongside Conte.
Juventus chief football officer Fabio Paratici has been sounded out for the role and talks are underway with Conte’s compatriot.