Guardiola welcomes ‘outstanding’ Conte back to Prem

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has welcomed Antonio Conte back to the Premier League after he was appointed Tottenham head coach on Tuesday.

Conte spent two years as Chelsea boss between 2016 and 2018 before joining Inter Milan a year later.

The Italian head coach won Inter their first Serie A title in 11 years in 2020/21 before leaving the San Siro club in the summer.

Antonio Conte by the numbers: Games, trophies, signings…

He was close to becoming Spurs boss after departing the Italian club, but a deal fell through, with the north Londoners opting for Nuno Espirito Santo.

However, Nuno lasted four months in charge. The Portuguese was sacked on Monday after a 3-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of Man City’s Champions League encounter against Club Brugge, Guardiola waxed lyrical about the ex-Chelsea head coach.

“First of all, welcome back to England, to the Premier League,” the City boss said.

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

Joining Guardiola in the press conference, former Spurs right-back Kyle Walker was also complimentary of Conte.

“I think Conte is a great manager, obviously. Hopefully, it’s going to be a successful appointment for them,” Walker added.

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

Meanwhile, Conte reportedly wants Spurs to target Dusan Vlahovic and Franck Kessie as his first signings in January, with a further two Serie A stars on his shortlist.

This is according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian has been assured that he will have funds to strengthen in the winter window and he’s earmarked Vlahovic and Kessie as his first two signings.

Vlahovic was linked with Spurs as well as Man City in the summer and has scored 29 goals in his last 48 league appearances.

Kessie would likely be significantly cheaper, with the AC Milan midfielder’s contract due to expire at the end of the season.

The report also claims Inter centre-back Stefan de Vrij and Lazio right-back Manuel Lazzari are also on the manager’s shortlist ahead of the January window.

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