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Fabio Paratici feels Tottenham have closed the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool but acknowledged they still have a “long way” to go in their project.

The managing director has been at the club for just over 12 months and made a flurry of signings during that period, which included seven this summer.

July arrivals Ivan Perisic and Richarlison have hit the ground running and Spurs have greater depth compared to last season, but the Italian echoed the sentiments of boss Antonio Conte by insisting they are just at the start of a process of trying to compete with the world’s best.

Paratici told SpursTV: “One year ago I came here and if you remember my first words were we have to be better, build something important and arrive to be competitive.

“I think we’re in a good place, the gap has reduced. We finished in the table 20 points less than Liverpool and Manchester City so this gap is not possible to reduce in a small time but we’re much better.

“Antonio is one of the best coaches in the world, we signed players, we improved players but we have a long way in front of us.

“We start to be more competitive but it’s not enough. We want to be better. We want to be better as a club, person and professionals but I think this club is now going in the right direction.”

A notable shift in policy this summer was Tottenham completing the majority of their transfer business early with the six additions currently part of the first-team group all signed by July 19.

It is in contrast to previous years when Spurs have notoriously waited until the final days of the transfer window to complete deals but a £150million cash injection by ownership group ENIC in May helped Paratici and co get to work early.

“It was a really good summer transfer window,” he added. “First we have to thank ENIC to help us with the equity injection early, to give us the opportunity to make our job easy without economic difficulties.

“We were all together to join our targets, so lucky to join our targets early and get the players ready for pre-season with Antonio to work with the team. Everything was good.

“To do things early is just a question of having a vision.

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte has been backed in the transfer market (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“The same vision as the club and coach, everyone together making the right decisions to straight away finding out our targets. Not just for Antonio for every coach it’s important to have this kind of solution.

“To get players early you can work, manage them, know them better. It’s easy from a sporting, economic sign and give the right signal to fans.”

Spurs begin their Champions League campaign this week, after two-and-a-half years away.

Paratici wants qualifying for the tournament to become the norm.

He said: “For the other clubs in England, it’s something special to get in the top four and for us has to be a continued target.

“I don’t want to say normal target but it has to become a habit to play Champions League.”