Is AS Roma the most likely destination for Antonio Conte?by Chloe Beresford / 25 April 2019, 14:56Tweet
“I am still living in London, as we wanted to give our little girl the opportunity to learn English,” explained former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to Sky Italia talkshow E poi c’e Cattelan last week.
“We live in Cobham, in the countryside near Chelsea’s training ground, so there isn’t much to do. I spend a lot of my time on the couch watching matches and TV shows.”
This is an image largely at odds with the raving madman seen on the touchlines of Juventus, Italy and Chelsea in the past, but perhaps a year of tranquility has been just what the doctor ordered for a man so passionately committed to his work such as Conte.
“There is a definite difference in the intensity with which the English teams run,” he continued.
“If you watch Italian and English games, you see there is a lot less focus on tactics and they tend to just throw everything forward.”
In knowing the extreme dedication with which this boss commits himself to his work, it is very clear that he will be keen to return to football next season, but the question is, where?
The man himself remains coy over what may happen next, having declared that he will go somewhere with a “project that convinces” him.
The Italian press is pretty certain that Conte will return to his home country for 2018/19, however there are a number of top-level clubs with a potential vacancy, leaving a number of options from which this experienced boss can choose from.
Antonio Conte: Coming to a Premier League touchline soon ???? pic.twitter.com/X9SZB1jpZl— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) June 27, 2016
Current boss Claudio Ranieri seems to have steadied the ship following the sacking of Eusebio Di Francesco earlier this season, yet his continuation in Rome beyond the end of the season is by no means guaranteed.
“I now feel like Roma’s Coach until the end of the season, then we’ll see what happens,” the veteran declared at a recent press conference.
In the meantime, Italian transfer site CalcioMercato.com have insisted that the Giallorossi have already offered him a €9 million per year contract, but the report suggests the club may have to sell at least one of their highest paid players to fund his arrival.
This may be especially tough if they fail to reach the Champions League, but the rebuild project following a disastrous season from Di Francesco and former sporting director Monchi may be one that suits Conte’s skills down to the ground.
With just one win in the last six matches and an exit to Lazio from the Coppa Italia this week, AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso is under increasing pressure.
Although the former Rossoneri midfielder has exceeded expectations in his position in many ways, it certainly seems like he has reached the limit of his expertise.
Returning to the Champions League is an absolute must for a club of this size, and this is by no means certain with just five Serie A matches left to play.
Indeed, reports in Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday suggest that the Milan board has now lost faith in Gattuso, and will look for a new Coach even if they manage to salvage fourth place.
Conte would be the ideal man to put Milan back where they belong, but they would still have to convince him that theirs is the best project.
Meanwhile, another team based at San Siro will likely also be looking for a new boss next season, even though they should finish third in the league this season.
Sporting CEO Beppe Marotta is unlikely to be keen on another drama-filled campaign with current Coach Luciano Spalletti, especially after a huge rift that saw striker Mauro Icardi exiled from the squad for months.
Given his past at rivals Juventus, Conte may well give this job opportunity a swerve, but it will remain a possibility until he makes his final decision.