Antonio Conte has claimed that Tottenham did not have to promise him a big transfer budget in order to get him to take over from Nuno Espirito Santo.
Tottenham reportedly held talks with Conte during the summer transfer window but the two parties could not come to an agreement at the time.
When the Italian accepted the job at the start of November, some sources suggested that the North London club had promised him a sizeable transfer kitty.
While Conte boasts of an impressive CV, he does have a reputation of someone who demands big investment into the squad – something the Italian has refuted in the past.
The Tottenham boss has now made it clear he did not demand that the club needed to invest big amounts on players before signing on the dotted line.
Conte told Football.London: “I did not sign for Tottenham because the chairman or the general director told me something about the transfer market or about the money the club is going to spend, honestly.
“I accepted because I felt that Tottenham could be a fantastic situation for me to work, to try to bring my idea of football, to try to create something important for this club.
“For sure they said to me that ‘we want to improve and we would like to work with you’. I said OK, yes, and now we have to try to improve and to bring the team to an important level.
“I know very well it will be very difficult because the gap is not a little gap, but we have to try to match our ambition and the reality of the situation in this moment of the team.”
Conte also hinted that he does not expect the club to make big moves in this month’s transfer window but admitted that he is enjoying his experience at N17.
When asked about Tottenham’s reluctance to spend big on players in the past, he responded: “In this moment I think I can’t confirm this. Also because with me the club did not spend money. I am here for only two months.
“I think that we have to go to do the right things. I know it’s not easy because to improve the situation there is only the January transfer market. Then there is the work, my work, the work of my staff and the players to try to improve the situation.
“As I said before, I enjoy working at Tottenham because I found a fantastic environment, fantastic atmosphere, amazing stadium, fantastic training ground.
“For sure I think maybe we have to bring the level of the team to the same level as our infrastructure. To try to match the situation now, I think we have to improve to match these two different situations.”
At previous clubs, Conte would occasionally bring in experienced players to help his team’s mentality, something that Tottenham rarely do, preferring to sign young players who can improve.
“When you go to sign experienced players, it’s usually because you can spend money,” said Conte.
“This is one reason and then there is another reason.
“When you go to sign experienced players it can help you, it can help the players in the squad. Especially if there are young players without great experience.
“It is not simple to sign experienced players but at the same time I think there are players who can build something important.
“For example Ibrahimovic for Milan, a great signing for them. He brought his experience in a group of young players.
“To help them improve and to teach them how to manage the pressure. For these two reasons you can sign experienced players.”
Having earlier swerved the question, Conte was asked if he could provide assurances to the club’s fans that he would still be at Spurs following the next two transfer windows and by the time next season begins in August.
“Honestly I like to live in the present and not to think a lot of the future,” he said.
“Now it is important to live in the present, to try in the present to improve the situation and get out the best of my players.
To work to improve the situation because the present is now, the future is later.
Now we have to be focused on the present and we have to work a lot to try to keep Tottenham in the right position.”
And when pressed on being reluctant to give assurances, he added:
“As you know I signed a contract for the end of the season and one year more.