Good morning! Italian paper Corriere dello Sport has reported that Tottenham Hotspur has been in contact with the representatives of Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte regarding Spurs’ open managerial position.
Sounds great, right? We should probably pump the brakes.
First, let’s get to what the report actually says. Run the story, which is in Italian, through Google Translate and you get the following highlight:
It was Tottenham who came forward. And, apparently, Antonio kept the door open. Mind you, there is nothing decided, there is not even a real proposal on the table, but the talks with the Spurs would have also pushed towards technical evaluations on the current squad and on the main needs to strengthen it. It should be added that the Apulian coach also wanted to specify that the precedence goes to Inter and that to make any kind of decision he will wait for a confrontation with Steven Zhang, scheduled only at the end of the season. The contacts, in short, would have been fruitful and interesting, but the parties have agreed to resent later, when the picture becomes clearer.
Well, okay then. That sounds a lot less cool than the headline, doesn’t it? Boil it down to brass tacks and what you have is an Italian paper saying that someone from Tottenham Hotspur called someone connected to Conte to ask Would you? and Conte shrugged probably and said Yeah, maybe I guess but Inter, and the Spurs person said OK cool let’s like keep in touch or something.
That’s not nothing! It’s also not exactly something.
The report goes on to say that Conte might be interested in a “stimulating challenge” that Tottenham presents, and the talks identified areas where Spurs could be strengthened, but that his priority continues to be Inter. And why not, since Conte just won Inter their first Scudetto since 2010, and he seems to be in a pretty good position to create something akin to a dynasty in Milan.
It’s also worth noting that Corriere dello Sport doesn’t have the best reputation with regards to rumors of this type. They’re certainly better when it comes to managers of Italian teams, but this isn’t something you’d want to run with and take to the bank.
However, if you do want to hang your hat on something it’s this — Conte has apparently not had the best relationship with Inter’s brass, something this report picks up on, and Conte will use his end-of-season meeting with 29-year old Chinese chairman Steven Zhang to iron out some assurances before deciding whether or not to stay on. If those talks collapse or go badly, then maybe we’ll come back to this rumor.
Conte is undisputedly one of the best managers in world football, though it should be said that he’s an absolute lunatic and is rarely NOT fighting with club officials no matter where he is. Daniel Levy somehow managing to convince Conte to come to Spurs would certainly be a coup, but we’re a long, LONG way from saying this is a credible rumor.
Sure is fun to think about, though!