Antonio Conte believes Tottenham have a 1% chance of finishing inside the Premier League’s top four and says the club’s January business weakened the squad.
Spurs are eighth in the Premier League and seven points outside the Champions League places, with their hopes of a top four finish having been dented after consecutive league losses to Chelsea, Southampton and Wolves.
The north Londoners have games in hand on the sides above them, including three on fourth-placed Manchester United, but Conte believes the club’s business in the transfer window has weakened his squad.
Spurs secured the signings of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus, two talents who Conte believes are not ‘ready’ to make an immediate impact.
The club also sanctioned the departures of several senior names with Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and record signing Tanguy Ndombele among those to leave.
“Rather than reinforce the squad, we on paper weakened it,” Conte told beIN Sports. “Bentancur and Kulusevski are ideal prospects for Tottenham, because Tottenham are seeking young players they can develop and grow, not players who are ready.
“That is the issue. I have realised now that this is the vision of the club.”
Conte discussed his side’s chances of securing Champions League qualification and admitted he was not hopeful of securing a top four finish.
“I’ve always said that I have to feel only one per cent the possibility to win the league,” he said. “Here it is strange because maybe I feel the one per cent possibility to finish fourth.
”The level of this league is very high and there is not a lot of space for other teams than the top teams.”
Despite his public pessimism, the Italian reiterated that his side must show ‘desire to fight’ as the club look to catch the sides above them.
“It’s important not to be scared,” he added. “We need to have the desire to fight.”