Tottenham manager Antonio Conte says he does not expect to be fired before the end of the season.
After Spurs were eliminated from the Champions League by AC Milan last week, the 53-year-old hinted that he might be fired sooner.
But Conte, who is expected to leave Spurs when his contract ends this summer, said on Thursday the comment was “a joke”.
“Do you see what I’m getting at? Concerning my future, “Conte stated.
“A joke, a provocation. When you joke about something.
“You [reporters] asked me about the future, and I told you that you don’t know what will happen because the club may fire me.
“But, again, I don’t believe the club believes this. Every day, the club sees what my staff and I are doing for this club “He went on to say.
Tottenham were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United the same week they were eliminated from the Champions League, and they currently sit fourth in the Premier League, four points ahead of Newcastle.
Conte’s future at the club has been a source of speculation since then.
“I don’t think any club can tell the manager that he’ll be here until the end of the season. Football is a strange sport, you know “Conte stated.
“You have no idea what will happen tomorrow. But, again, in my opinion, my staff and I try to do everything at all times, and I believe the club appreciates this.”
Spurs face Southampton on Saturday in their quest to finish in the top four.
Tottenham Hotspur news, analysis, and fan opinions
Receive Spurs news alerts
Listen to the most recent Far Post podcast.
Conte also stated that Tottenham wants to keep England forward Harry Kane “for the rest of his career” amid speculation about his future at the club.
Kane became Spurs’ all-time record scorer in February, surpassing Jimmy Greaves’ record, and has now scored 270 goals for the club, but has been linked with moves away in recent years.
“I think that this is a question for the club because for sure the club wants to involve Harry Kane for the rest of his career in my opinion,” said Conte.
“You want a world-class striker like him to stay for the rest of his career.”