Daily Mail

Conte delays Spurs return


ANTONIO CONTE is now not expected to be back for Tottenham’s trip to Wolves tomorrow — and the delay is another step closer to his exit at the end of the season. Assistant boss Cristian Stellini claimed after Sunday’s win over Chelsea that the manager would return this week from Italy, where he has been recuperati­ng after surgery to remove his gallbladde­r. But now he is set to return after the Wolves game to prepare for Wednesday’s Champions League tie against AC Milan. After Wednesday’s dismal FA Cup exit at Sheffield United, when Spurs rested Harry Kane, their hopes of ending a 15-year wait for silverware now rest with the Champions League, and they must overturn a 1-0 deficit against Milan. Conte’s absence, along with the latest disappoint­ment in an underwhelm­ing campaign, has only added to the feeling that the two parties will separate when his contract expires at the end of the season. There have been no talks about a new deal since the World Cup and although the club can trigger a one-year extension, it looks increasing­ly unlikely. Conte’s illness, the fact his wife and daughter still live in Turin, and the likelihood that several big Italian clubs will be searching for new managers at the end of the season, all point towards a summer move back home. The future of Fabio Paratici, Spurs’ managing director who lured his countryman to the club, is also uncertain after the Italian FA banned him over his role in the financial scandal at Juve.

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