Pep Guardiola praises 'outstanding' Antonio Conte on his return to Premier League with Tottenham

Antonio Conte has signed an 18-month contract - with an option to extend - and replaces Nuno Espirito Santo following successful talks with Tottenham's hierarchy; Pep Guardiola: "His career speaks perfectly for itself. He has had success everywhere. An absolutely outstanding manager."

Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte
Image: Pep Guardiola has faced Antonio Conte four times during his managerial career, winning twice and losing twice

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has welcomed "outstanding" Antonio Conte back to the Premier League after the Italian was named Tottenham head coach on Tuesday.

Conte has signed an 18-month contract - with an option to extend - and replaces Nuno Espirito Santo following successful talks with Tottenham's hierarchy in London.

The former Chelsea boss, who guided the Blues to the 2016-17 Premier League title and the FA Cup the following season, has taken up his first managerial post since leaving Inter Milan, with whom he won last season's Serie A title.

Conte appointed Tottenham head coach

Conte appointed Tottenham head coach

Tottenham have appointed Antonio Conte as their new head coach following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.

His record of 51 victories from 76 games gives him the second-highest win rate of coaches who have taken charge of at least 50 Premier League games, second only to Guardiola.

"First of all, welcome back to England, to the Premier League," the City boss told reporters on Tuesday.

"His career speaks perfectly for itself. He has had success everywhere. An absolutely outstanding manager."

Speaking ahead of City's Champions League clash with Club Brugge on Wednesday, Guardiola was joined by City right-back and former Spurs player Kyle Walker, who added: "I think Conte is a great manager, obviously. Hopefully, it's going to be a successful appointment for them.

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"Obviously it's been a tough couple of years with managers coming and going. I wish him and the club all the best."

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'Club Brugge match more important than Man Utd'

Guardiola is looking for a reaction from his players against Club Brugge as they aim to return to winning ways following Saturday's home defeat by Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

City thrashed the Belgian side 5-1 a fortnight ago and Guardiola considers the game to be more important than the weekend derby against Manchester United, live on Sky Sports.

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"I think this game is much more important than the United game.

"This gives us an incredible chance to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. In the Premier League there are many games, in the Champions League just six, and there are not many left."

'We wish Aguero a safe recovery'

Guardiola and Walker also sent best wishes to former City striker Sergio Aguero, who was taken ill with chest pains at the weekend and has been advised to rest for three months.

Aguero, who scored a record 260 goals for City, left the club for Barcelona in the summer.

Sergio Aguero
Image: Sergio Aguero underwent cardiac tests at hospital as a precautionary measure

Guardiola said: "We wish him a safe recovery. The time doesn't matter. Health is more important than anything else.

"I wish him the best recovery and he can come back to play again, otherwise he enjoys his life and enjoys what he has done."

Walker said: "It's a shock when this happens to anyone. I (also) played with Christian (Eriksen) and you think about them and the family. I'm glad they're OK."

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