Antonio Conte claims Tottenham do not need to spend big in the transfer market as there is no pressure on them to win trophies, writes Darren Lewis in Singapore.
Conte’s Chelsea have splashed out £140million so far this summer and with a month still to go until the deadline are on course to match Manchester City’s record £200m outlay.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has attacked the other title-contending clubs for throwing money around, and insisted he will not join in the transfer frenzy.
But Conte maintained there is a big difference between his champions and Levy’s men.
“My question is this — What are Tottenham’s expectations?” he said.
“If they don’t win the title, it’s not a tragedy.
“If they don’t arrive in the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy.
“If they go out in the first round of the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy.
“If they go out after the first game that they play in the Europa League and go down against Gent, it is not a tragedy.
“For Chelsea, Arsenal, City, United and… I don’t know… Liverpool, it is a tragedy.
“You must understand this. You must understand the status of the team.
“If Barcelona does not compete for the title, it’s a tragedy. It’s the same for Real Madrid. But if Sevilla, for example, does not compete for the title, it is not a tragedy and they can breathe.
“You can think in a different way and you can judge the others but the others must fight to win the title.”
Spurs ran Chelsea close last season, eventually finishing second.
Conte has since added quality in the shape of £34m defender Antonio Rudiger, £40m midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and £65m striker Alvaro Morata, a club record.
Tottenham are the only Premier League team not to sign a single new player this summer.
Conte made clear his admiration for them, but added: “Every team has to understand what their ambitions are.
“If their ambitions are to win or fight for the title or try to win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It’s simple.
“Now, if you want to compete to fight for the title in England – and there has been a miracle with Leicester and with us, because we won the title with only 13 players – you have to be strong.
“Tottenham is a really good team, if they are able to keep the same squad as last season. They lost Kyle Walker but they have a structure.
“To continue another season with the same players is good for the coach. Pochettino is a really good coach. He knows very well the club and the players. But it is important, I repeat, they can work without a lot of pressure. This is the reality.”
Levy claimed this week that Pochettino would rather hold his nerve and give Spurs’ academy kids their chance than join in with the big Premier League spending frenzy.
Conte has allowed his promising youngsters to go out on loan at home and abroad, preferring more battle-hardened players as the Blues prepare to fight on four fronts.
The Chelsea board are set to back him again — the goal is to sign another three players at least before the window closes at 11pm on August 31.
Juventus left-back Alex Sandro, rated at over £60m, remains a target, along with Inter Milan winger Antonio Candreva. The champions remain interested in Swansea striker Fernando Llorente and Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
Conte added: “You can see that strong teams are getting stronger because they are putting a lot of money into the transfer market. This the situation now and you can’t change it.”