Where next for Antonio Conte?
Inter‘s confirmation that Antonio Conte has left the club will no doubt spark a scramble for the signature of one of the Europe’s top managers.
The Italian spent two seasons at San Siro, leading the Nerazzurri to the 2020 Europa League final and ending their 11-year wait for a Serie A title this term.
Despite that success, however, Inter have agreed to release Conte from his contract a year early.
It was recently reported that the 51-year-old had clashed with club chiefs over their desire to sell €80m worth of players this summer in order to balance the books.
But Inter’s loss could well be another club’s gain – here are some of their now former manager’s potential destinations.
Having not yet permanently replaced Jose Mourinho, Tottenham are in the market for a manager who can help them improve on a disappointing seventh-placed finish in the Premier League.
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers have been repeatedly linked with the vacancy but it has recently been suggested that Spurs are looking to make an even more ambitious appointment.
A league winner in five of the last 10 seasons – including one Premier League title with Chelsea – Conte certainly fits the bill in that regard.
The only question is if Tottenham could meet his expectations in terms of transfers as they look to stay on top of their new stadium debt without Champions League money available.
After overseeing Real Madrid’s first trophyless season since 2009-10, Zinedine Zidane is reportedly considering leaving his post as manager for the second time.
And, while Massimiliano Allegri has already been touted as a potential successor, Real could instead go with another former Juve manager.
Having only previously managed in Italy in England, the lure of Spain and one of its two biggest clubs would surely appeal to Conte.
But, with Real facing similar financial challenges to Inter this summer, it could be out of the frying pan and into the fire for the former Chelsea boss.
According to reports this week, Inter believed interest from Barcelona was partly to blame for Conte’s desire to leave the club.
Contact between the Catalans and the 51-year-old certainly cannot be ruled out given the well-publicised doubts over Ronald Koeman‘s future.
The Dutchman oversaw victory in the Copa del Rey this season, but knows that La Liga and the Champions League are the true measures of success at Camp Nou.
Should he be moved on, Conte’s name is certain to be thrown into the hat, though that would also likely prompt questions over whether his philosophies are a good fit for a club that prides itself on an attractive brand of football.
But if there are any doubts about his long-term suitability at boardroom level, then news of another Juve legend becoming available is unlikely to strengthen his position.
Conte won Serie A five times and the Champions League during 13 years in Turin before later leading them to three further titles from the dugout.
An emotional return for a renowned winner loved by supporters should not be ruled out.