Date:3rd November 2021 at 3:45pm
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Excitement around Tottenham Hotspur will reach fever pitch on Sunday, as Antonio Conte takes charge of his first match as Lilywhites boss. 

The Italian was appointed as the successor to Nuno Esperito Santo on Tuesday, after the sacking of the Portuguese in the wake of Spurs’ 3-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.

Conte, who won the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea during his last spell in the Premier League, returns to England just months after guiding Inter Milan to a first Serie A title in a decade.

Conte will not have long to get to know his squad, but will be relying on the likes of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Hugo Lloris to ensure his tenure gets off to a positive start.

As is always the case when a new manager is appointed, speculation is already building around potential transfers that Conte may target in January.

The former Juventus boss will apparently be granted a £100 million budget to strengthen his squad in order to compete for trophies.

One slightly surprise name that has been banded around is Sam Johnstone.

As per Sky Sports, the West Bromwich Albion ‘keeper has been linked with a move to Spurs when his contract expires next year.

The England international is yet to agree to a contract extension with the Championship side, but the Baggies are understandably keen on extending the player’s stay in the midlands.

Spurs, however, have identified Johnstone as a target to provide cover for Hugo Lloris, and ultimately to compete with the Frenchman for the starting spot at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Johnstone has started the season well for West Brom, who sit third in the Championship table

Southampton and West Ham United are all both believed to be interested in the player, who endured a tough season in the Premier league last term, conceding 74 goals in 37 games as the Baggies were relegated.

The 28-year-old was part of England’s Euro 2020 squad, however, and has already kept six clean sheets in 14 games in the Championship so far this campaign.

West Brom will do their utmost to keep hold of Johnstone, however, and manager Valerien Ismael recently explained the club’s stance.

“From January we will start to go more intensively in the discussion but at the moment we’re all focussed on the pitch, on the performances,” he said.

“We know what we have to do to give ourselves a good position for the negotiations with him.

“It’s a patient game now, like a chess game. He wants to see. For sure, we want to extend and, at the minute, I’m not worried, it’s a normal process.”

Johnstone’s current deal expires next summer, but West Brom may be tempted to cash in on the player in January if it becomes apparent that he will not agree to an extension.

 
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