Tottenham boss Antonio Conte claims his squad was "weakened" in the January transfer window and he has now realised the vision of the club.

The Italian was desperate for reinforcements last month but, after the club missed out on deals for Adama Traore and Luis Diaz, they only brought in Juventus pair Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur on deadline day.

On the same day Conte saw the club's two most expensive players - Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso - leave on loan, with Dele Alli joining Everton on a free transfer and Bryan Gil going to Valencia less than six months after his £25m arrival from Sevilla.

It is the biggest indication yet that Conte's expectations do not match up with the club's and the comments will surely make waves with chairman Daniel Levy and managing director of football Fabio Paratici.

In an interview with Sky Sport Italia, Conte said: "I saw some situations from the outside that could be developed, but when you get into it, you realise something...

"What happened in January was not easy. We lost four players in January. Four important players for Tottenham, and we brought in only two.

"So even just in terms of numbers, rather than reinforce the squad, we on paper may have weakened it."

Conte has been backed with ready-made signings at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter but says he now knows that will not be the case at Spurs.

"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," he added.

"This is the vision and the philosophy of the club. It is inevitable that if you want to grow quicker and if you want to be competitive more rapidly, you need players with a lot of experience, because they also raise the experience level of the overall team.

"But I repeat, I have realised now that this is the vision of the club."

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