Tottenham boss Antonio Conte demanding two specific signings in January window

Conte says Europa Conference League is 'important' to Tottenham

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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte wants to sign two central defenders in January who can come straight into his starting XI, according to reports. Conte was appointed the successor to Nuno Espirito Santo at Spurs earlier this month. The Italian is unbeaten so far, having won two of his three matches in charge.

Conte turned down the Tottenham job in the summer, with reports saying he was not convinced he would be backed as much as he would want in the transfer market.

But the Italian took the job at the second time of asking.

Conte has immediately switched to his familiar three-at-the-back formation.

Summer signing Cristian Romero is out with a hamstring injury, which Conte has described as “serious”.

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Conte picked Japhet Tanganga, Eric Dier and Ben Davies in a back three in Sunday’s win over Leeds.

Full-backs Tanganga and Davies were picked ahead of out-and-out centre-backs Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon.

Speaking on the Transfer Window podcast, Duncan Castles says that is because Conte is not happy with the options he has at the back.

The former Chelsea boss believes it is vitally important two defenders are signed in the upcoming window who can slot straight into his team.

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“One of the things he’s asking for in January is not one, but two starting centre-backs,” Castles said.

“I don’t think this is a big surprise if you look at what the two previous permanent managers thought of the centre-backs, both Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho wanted significant upgrades there.

“Of course I’ve forgotten Nuno Espirito Santo, his reign being so short.

“[Nuno] also wanted further upgrades at centre-back on top of what was very much a Paratici signing in Cristian Romero.

“At the weekend [Conte] started with Japhet Tanganga and Ben Davies in a back three, either side of Eric Dier, ahead of Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon.

“Conte feels it’s fundamental to improve at centre-back and get his five-at-the-back system working properly.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Conte kept his cards close to his chest when asked if he would look to sign a defender in January.

“I am not thinking about [signing another defender in] January because there is still a long way to go, we have many games to play and also I want to make my evaluations about the squad and players,” he said.

“Now I am very focused on the present as the present for me is very important.

“I need to make many evaluations about the whole squad and then we will see what happens.”

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