Antonio Conte explains why he snubbed Tottenham approach in the summer

Conte was among Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s top targets at the end of last season, but he turned down the role

Lawrence Ostlere
Tuesday 02 November 2021 12:22
<p>Antonio Conte is back in the Premier League </p>

Antonio Conte is back in the Premier League

The new Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has revealed he did not take up the club’s vacant role when offered in the summer because he was still too “emotionally involved” with his previous team, Inter Milan.

After former Spurs player Ryan Mason had taken interim charge of the club following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in March, Conte was among chairman Daniel Levy’s top targets. The Italian manager had become available having departed Inter weeks after winning Serie A, reportedly clashing with the club’s board over transfers, but he turned down Levy’s approach.

On Tuesday, however, he was appointed as Spurs’ new manager on an 18-month contract following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.

“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching,” Conte explained in a statement.

“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”

Conte said he was also persuaded by Tottenham’s impressive new 63,000-seater stadium. “Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world. I can't wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.”

Tottenham director Fabio Paratici, who worked with Conte at Juventus, praised Conte’s track record for winning trophies having won leagues with Bari, Juventus, Chelsea and Inter.

“Conte’s track record speaks for itself, with vast experience and trophies in both Italy and England,” Paratici said. “I know first-hand the qualities Antonio can bring to us, having worked with him at Juventus.”

Conte is expected to take charge of training on Tuesday afternoon ahead of his first match, against Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League. Spurs then meet Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

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