One of Tottenham Hotspur’s mooted managerial targets could be about to become a free man this summer…
What’s the word?
According to Italian news outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, it is almost inevitable that Antonio Conte leaves Inter Milan despite clinching their first Serie A title in 11 years.
It’s thought that the 51-year-old is not happy about the direction the club is going in as president Steven Zhang and their Chinese owners Suning have asked the club’s hierarchy to cut the wage bill by 20% and raise €100m (£85m) in player sales to help their precarious financial situation.
Conte has remained firm in his belief that the squad needs backing financially, rather than the opposite.
La Stampa have also claimed that Spurs would be able to offer the former Chelsea man around €20m-per-year (£18m) amid interest from Real Madrid, and as a result, they represent the most attractive destination for him, should he leave the San Siro.
Get it done, Levy
A lot of targets have already come and gone in the month since Jose Mourinho’s surprise sacking and we’re still no closer to finding out who the next manager of Spurs will be.
If Conte does become available, then chairman Daniel Levy would be crazy to not consider him. After all, he’s a nine-time major trophy winner and has cleaned up the Special One’s mess before.
When Mourinho departed Chelsea for a second time, the Blues recorded their worst finish since 1996 (tenth) and in their very next season under the Italian, they won the Premier League title and finished runners-up in the FA Cup, before going onto win it a year later.
In fact, the two have even clashed at times, with the 51-year-old lambasting Mourinho as ” a fake” and a “little man” back in 2018, when Chelsea met the Portuguese’s Manchester United side.
Conte has since gone on to transform Inter into a club to be feared for the first time in over a decade – a similar timeframe in which Spurs have suffered without a trophy.
His record at the Italian giants reads 64 wins from 102 matches (62.7%), whilst averaging 2.11 points and 2.10 goals per game, via Transfermarkt.
By comparison, Mourinho was sacked having won 52% of his games in charge of Spurs, where he picked up only 1.77 points and 2.00 goals per match.
During his time in England, Conte received a particularly glowing endorsement from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who waxed lyrical about his impact on the English top-flight.
He said, via the Daily Mail:
“Tactically he is a master, he did it amazingly with Italy and when he went to Turin [with Juventus]. I think Conte is going to leave, going to give something to English football. I’m sure of that.”
With Levy thought to be seeking an attack-minded head coach, there are not many better candidates out there than Conte, who not only has a proven record in the Premier League but also has transformed a similar club in Inter Milan.
The Spurs chairman would be a fool to not throw everything he’s got at the 51-year-old “winner.”