Antonio Conte to Tottenham: Man Utd feared Italian would be ‘new Mourinho’

  • Rob Swan

Manchester United appear to have missed out on the opportunity to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Antonio Conte.

Reports on Monday morning suggested that Conte had reached an agreement to become Tottenham’s new manager after the London club sacked Nuno Espirito Santo.

Nuno lasted just four months in the job following his summer appointment. Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Man United convinced chairman Daniel Levy that change was necessary.

“I know how much Nuno and his coaching staff wanted to succeed and I regret that we have had to take this decision,” Fabio Paratici, Spurs’ managing director of football said in a club statement.

“Nuno is a true gentleman and will always be welcome here. We should like to thank him and his coaching staff and wish them well for the future.”


Tottenham find themselves eighth in the Premier League table, having picked up 15 points from their opening 10 league fixtures.

Conte is expected to finalise talks with Tottenham on Monday afternoon before putting pen to paper on an 18-month contract.


Why is Conte joining Tottenham and not Man Utd?

But how, when it was widely reported that United were keen on appointing Conte as Solskjaer’s replacement, have Tottenham been able to win the battle for the Italian’s signature?

Well, The Independent’s Miguel Delaney reports that Conte saw ‘no prospect of joining Manchester United any time soon’.

Why? Because reports that United were keen on Conte were, in fact, wide of the mark.


Delaney states that Conte was ‘way down the list’ of potential candidates if Solskjaer left Man Utd.

The Old Trafford hierarchy reportedly had too many reservations about the former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss and feared the 52-year-old would become a “new Mourinho”.

Will Man Utd regret not hiring Conte?

Only time will tell whether United will end up regretting that decision.

Solskjaer reportedly had three games to save his job following last month’s dismal 5-0 defeat to fierce rivals Liverpool, but the Norwegian made the perfect start with that emphatic victory away at Spurs.


However, tougher tests await Solskjaer over the coming days.

His side face Atalanta away in the Champions League on Tuesday evening before Saturday’s Premier League clash against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Which manager will replace Solskjaer at Man Utd?

Brendan Rodgers, Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino are among the favourites to replace Solskjaer if United sack their current manager in the coming weeks.


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