Antonio Conte reveals Hugo Lloris is in talks over a new deal; the captain's contract expires at the end of the season but Conte is "very confident" he will stay; Conte adds he has held talks with the club over new signings; watch Spurs vs Chelsea, live on Sky Sports on Wednesday from 7pm
Tuesday 11 January 2022 23:07, UK
Antonio Conte says he is "very confident" that Hugo Lloris will sign a new contract with Tottenham and revealed the club have opened talks with their captain.
Lloris' current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he is now free to discuss a summer move with foreign clubs.
But Conte is keen for the goalkeeper - who joined Spurs from Lyon in 2012 - to extend his stay in north London as he plots the "rebuild" he feels the squad needs.
"I think that they have started to talk," Conte said when asked if Spurs had opened negotiations with Lloris.
"You know very well what I think about Hugo. Also previously I spoke and said that he's our captain, he is a top goalkeeper for us, he has great experience.
"He knows very well Tottenham. He loves this shirt and this badge. For me he is an important player and I'm sure that they are going to find a solution for him to continue to play with Tottenham.
"I think and I repeat because I am not the person that speaks to renew the contract with the players. There is the club and the people that do this.
"But for sure I am very confident about this situation to be positive."
Conte reported that he has also held productive talks with the club after meeting chairman Daniel Levy and managing director of football Fabio Paratici to discuss new signings.
The Italian says he has made an assessment of his squad's capabilities since replacing Nuno Espirito Santo as manager in November, and that recruitment decisions now lie in the hands of others at the club.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final second leg visit of Chelsea, live on Sky Sports, Conte said: "First of all we have spoken about the situation. It was a good meeting because the owner and (Fabio) Paratici, they started together this season.
"I came in the middle. For sure, they know the situation better than me. It was a good meeting to tell them my thoughts after the two months I spent in Tottenham.
"What I want? I spoke with the club and I have my thoughts about the situation and I think the most important thing is the club must decide the best way to go.
"I don't have expectations. I am a coach and I know that we have to solve many problems. For me, the best possible way is to get the most out of my players and working with squad.
"That is the only way I can improve the situation and the squad. The club knows very well our situation and have to take the best decision.
"I don't know [about other clubs' transfer plans for January]. I have said to the club my vision and what I have found here. After this the club has to decide the best way the club has to go. I'm a coach and I teach football and try to improve players and the level of this squad.
"Then we'll see the decision of the club, if there is the possibility [to improve] or not. For me, it is important to be honest with the club about my vision, expectation and what I have found and how we can improve."
Sky Sports News reported on Monday that Tottenham have rejected a £15m bid from Ajax for Steven Bergwijn, with talks continuing between the two clubs, but Conte says he is still counting on the Dutchman.
Bergwijn has been restricted to just 310 minutes of Premier League action this season, but impressed in last month's 2-1 Carabao Cup win over West Ham, scoring the opener before setting up Lucas Moura's winner for Spurs.
Conte said: "Honestly Bergwijn, he knows very well what I think about him. I consider him as a player who can play all three (attacking) roles, as a nine and as a 10. For sure, in my period at Tottenham he was injured, but I showed when he's in a good physical condition, he has the chance to show he is a good player.
"For sure, Bergwijn is a Tottenham player and he is very close to coming back, and after the Chelsea game he can start training with us. I count on him.
"He is a player with different characteristics to Sonny (Heung-Min Son), Lucas (Moura) and Harry (Kane). He's very good one-v-one, he's a creative player that we don't have in our squad."
Conte refused to be drawn on the future of club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele, who has been the subject of discussions with clubs in Spain and Italy.
Ndombele was booed off by a section of the home support in the FA Cup game against Morecambe at the weekend after he showed no urgency to leave the pitch when substituted on the hour mark, with Spurs trailing 1-0.
Conte would not discuss the episode and did not disclose details of any discussions he may had with the French midfielder.
"Honestly, I think it is not right to speak about these type of situations because I think everyone is the owner of his gesture, you understand?" said Conte. "And I don't want to speak about this situation.
"If I have to tell him something, I will do it in a private way and not in front of the media. I don't think this is right."
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