Italy head coach Antonio Conte has spoken for the first time since the news of his imminent departure as the national team top boss and has disclosed a lot more information regarding where his future lies.
Premier League champions Chelsea remain the favourites to name Conte as their next manager on a three-year deal but the Italian refrained from admitting that he is bound to join the Blues.
Speaking ahead of the Azzurri’s international friendly against Spain, the topic of Chelsea was high on the agenda.
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“It’s not a taboo for me, but I could also mention the name of Italian clubs [as potential destinations],” as per ESPN.
He reiterated his stance of returning to manage a club side and that he has not taken the decision to step down from his current post lightly.
“Right now, I am only thinking about a decision I have taken that is not superficial – I’ve taken it and now we will see what the future holds, if there’s something attractive abroad or in Italy.”
“One thing’s for sure and that is I won’t be Italy coach for the next two years. I want to return to a club.”
PREMIER LEAGUE: ONE OF THE BEST
The 46-year-old revealed his admiration for the Premier League saying the English top flight attracts the best in world football, be it the players or the managers.
He added: “English football is definitely very attractive at the moment for players and coaches, not least because it’s a very interesting league from many points of view.”
Despite all the news surrounding his future in club management, Conte remains focused on his duties for the national team in the upcoming Euro 2016.
The former Juventus coach felt the need for change as he has missed the day-to-day activity in a club that is non-existent while coaching Italy.
“After we qualified for the European Championship, I was filled with satisfaction in seeing the lads do what I asked of them. That was when I thought about whether I could continue, but then four months passed [since seeing the players] and that was very tough.”
“Going four months without working and imagining another two years like this – I struggled from this point of view.”
Conte gave details of his conversation with FIGC (Italian Football Federation) president Carlo Tavecchio on his future.
Further adding: “I’ve not told Tavecchio about my future plans – all I had to tell him was that I was leaving. It was hard, because it’s not easy to leave a group you’ve been working well with.”
“I told him my decision with great serenity, explaining to him a bit why I’d made this choice.”
DISAPPROVING THE METHOD
Italian FA chairman Renzo Ulivieri was openly critical last week of the manner in which Conte is being pursued, as reported by Daily Mail, without naming any club in particular.
Chelsea are poised for a massive overhaul this summer on the back of a dismal campaign this term and it could start by installing Conte as the permanent boss after Euro 2016.