The long-running uncomfortable marriage is done and with that, the worst-kept secret in elite football is out. Tottenham Hotspur announced on Monday that Antonio Conte has left the club by mutual agreement. This might also be the first time in Conte’s tenure that he and the club have agreed on something.
Rarely do managers survive after calling their players selfish and the club effectively serial losers. Looking back on his tenure, neither Spurs, nor Antonio Conte would remember these months too fondly. However, the football world moves quickly.
A look back at Antonio Conte’s ???????????????????????????????????? final press conference as Tottenham manager. ???? pic.twitter.com/jPqMxnZmEi
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 26, 2023
Cristian Stellini has been placed as the caretaker manager till the end of the season. Conte, meanwhile, would look to take a step back and wait for the right club for him, instead of rushing into a decision, which has led to this spell.
Here are 3 clubs that would fit the Conte playbook perfectly.
Serie A is the most likely destination for the mercurial Italian and Juventus just fits Antonio Conte like a glove. Conte has always enjoyed the “Pantomime Villain” status. He has taken on the jobs of fallen giants and revived them to glory. Juventus itself have been witness to the glorious domination that can occur with a happy and content Conte on the touchline.
Antonio Conte makes the point here that he launched Juventus’ run of 9 Serie A titles by winning three in a row, then ended it by winning the title with Inter Milan last season. “I started… then I stopped this cycle.” https://t.co/tNodV66RVc
— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) November 3, 2021
The Bianconeri have the resources to satisfy Conte’s demands, and there is a pre-existing bond there, which, some would say, should have never been broken anyways.
The current Juventus side is struggling under Massimiliano Allegri, lying in 7th place in the league after a 15-point deduction due to financial irregularities. With only Europa League to play for and some uninspiring football, the Italian giants could be tempted to make a move soon. Now with Antonio Conte on the market, that could come sooner rather than later.
Once the miracle man of French football, Christophe Galtier is now a dead man walking. After another elimination from the UCL, and domestic league a foregone conclusion, PSG are sleepwalking their way to the season’s conclusion.
President Nasser al-Khelaifi has already signalled that the “bling-bling” era of superstars at PSG needs to end. Who better to usher in that change than the manager whose whole philosophy revolves around “suffering”?
“The fans disappointed to have Galtier and not Zidane? The dream is one thing, the reality another. Dreaming big is good but today, we must above all be realistic, we no longer want flashy, bling-bling, it’s the end of glitter. We want reality “#PSG????????
— PSG Chief (@psg_chief) June 21, 2022
If given some autonomy, Antonio Conte at PSG would have the potential to create a monster. There are some sticky points to consider, however. Conte’s record in Europe leaves a lot to be desired. The furthest he has gone in the UCL was the quarterfinal stage with Juventus, way back in the 2012-13 season. For a club like PSG, where UCL is the holy grail, Conte’s shine wears off.
However, it is also true that Conte is one manager best placed to make use of the vast resources at PSG’s disposal to create a formidable outfit. He has the ability to turn PSG into a team of players from a squad of individuals.
Another homecoming after Juventus, this time at their competitive rivals. Inter Milan last won the Serie A title when Antonio Conte was at the helm, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez formed a telepathic partnership as the team tore through the league, scoring 89 times in the league and winning the title with 91 points.
A first Serie A title win since 2010 ????????
Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan ⚫???? https://t.co/w3A517Td4y pic.twitter.com/spLIRiQBdd
— GOAL (@goal) May 2, 2021
Only Napoli’s domination this season could match that record. For a while, it looked at the time like Antonio Conte was set for another era of dominance like the one he ushered in at Juventus. However, financial problems at the club saw Conte pack up his bags as disagreements over transfer targets arose.
Simone Inzaghi has done well at the club since, finishing a close second behind fierce rivals AC Milan last season. They look set to finish in UCL places again this season. However, if the Inter board is willing to let bygones be bygones with Conte, it would make a lot of sense for both parties. Conte is a serial winner who would be best placed to challenge for the league title.
Other unexpected vacancies might arise, like at Real Madrid, but the competition will be fierce, with managerial wunderkind Julian Nagelsmann, sacked by Bayern recently, also on the market. Antonio Conte’s abrasive style of management has seen him burn many bridges in his career so far. Another PL job looks out of the question for him, and Bundesliga has only one giant in Bayern, and they’ve recently hired Thomas Tuchel.
There is a feeling that time is also running out for Conte to prove himself at an elite club now for a longer period of time. His potential destinations have thinned due to acrimonious exits and a repeat of that at his next job could force him down a peg in terms of the clubs he targets.