Conte: We will plan the future of Inter, with or without me

By Sports Desk August 21, 2020

Antonio Conte cast doubt on his future as Inter head coach after his side went down in a dramatic 3-2 Europa League final defeat against Sevilla.

Romelu Lukaku gave the Serie A giants an early lead from the penalty spot and Diego Godin had them level at half-time after Luuk de Jong headed a first-half brace.

But Diego Carlos, who might have been red-carded for his early foul on Lukaku, proved an unlikely match-winner when his 74th-minute overhead kick was deflected home by Inter's unfortunate number nine.

It meant the Nerazzurri were runners-up once more, as they were to Juventus in Serie A – concluding a season with plenty of positives but stinging missed opportunities under Conte.

And the former Juve, Italy and Chelsea boss told a post-match news conference he might not hang around to try and right those wrongs.

"There is no rancour at all from me or the club," Conte said, before ominously adding: "Something happened.

"There's no point beating around the bush. We have to see whether everyone is prepared to not have another year like this, for what happened.

"I'll evaluate with the club the situation. We must plan Inter's future with or without me."

Conte has frequently placed himself at loggerheads with Inter's hierarchy, regularly questioning their ambition in the transfer market despite being backed to bring in the likes of Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young and Christian Eriksen.

Nevertheless, he hinted another reason for his restlessness might be family commitments.

"It's about points of view, some situations that I faced this year and didn't like," he said.

"I have a family and I have to understand if football is the priority or my family.

"Everything has its limits, I have to see where my limits are.

"We'll clarify the situation, without rancour, because I will always be grateful for having the chance to spend a great year at Inter, but on the other it was also very tough."

Following Conte's comments in Germany, Sky Italia reported ex-Juventus and Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is the frontrunner for the Inter post if he decides to walk away.

Related items

  • Pogba one of the world's best – Tuchel Pogba one of the world's best – Tuchel

    Thomas Tuchel labelled Paul Pogba one of the best midfielders in the world ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's clash against Manchester United.

    PSG host United in Paris on Tuesday to begin their Champions League campaign in Group H.

    Ahead of the clash, Tuchel lauded Pogba, who has been linked with a move to the Ligue 1 champions previously.

    "He is one of the best midfielders of the world. That's the key to stopping him," the PSG coach told a news conference.

    "Bruno Fernandes who makes a lot of deep passes. One of the best teams in Europe in offensive transition. It's necessary to stop counter-attacks.

    "We want to have the ball, we want to play with a lot of possession, we want to impose our style. We have to play with a good structure to play good pressing."

    Pogba's former United team-mate, Ander Herrera, also praised the France international.

    Herrera, who left the Premier League club for PSG last year, believes Pogba will be a Ballon d'Or contender if United start winning multiple trophies.

    "I think he has it all. I've already said that there is no midfielder like him. He can do everything, one-on-one, box-to-box, he can do everything. He has all the qualities," he said.

    "He now plays a little deeper than when I was there because Fernandes plays like a number 10. I think he has all the qualities to become one of the best players in the world.

    "It's true that when you see the list of players who are candidates for the Ballon d'Or, you have to play in the team that wins everything. I think that if Man United wins titles, he will be in the list for the Ballon d'Or and the end-of-season trophies.

    "But, I am a PSG player now, I wish the best for Paul and Man United because they are in my heart but [on Tuesday] I will fight in a different team, we will fight for our team, our place."

  • Carragher urges Liverpool to sign Upamecano in January Carragher urges Liverpool to sign Upamecano in January

    Jamie Carragher says Liverpool need to do whatever it takes to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano in January after losing Virgil van Dijk to a serious knee injury. 

    Netherlands international Van Dijk was forced off early in the Reds' 2-2 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton on Saturday after a wild challenge from Jordan Pickford.

    Scans have since revealed Van Dijk suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament, an injury that will ensure he misses the majority – if not the entirety – of the remainder of the season.

    Liverpool have previously been linked with 21-year-old France international Upamecano and Carragher – the Reds' second-highest appearance maker – says Jurgen Klopp needs to bring him in as a matter of urgency when the January transfer window opens. 

    "Liverpool's next big signing had to be a centre-back anyway and I am talking next summer," Carragher told Sky Sports. 

    "Dejan Lovren went and they didn't replace him so they only have three centre-backs and one of those, Joel Matip, is always injured. There are question marks now about Joe Gomez.

    "So, there is no doubt that Liverpool had to go big in the transfer market next summer. That was the next one. That has now got to be brought forward to January 1, whoever the target was in the summer. Not the end of January. 

    "There is a young man everyone was talking about at Leipzig, Dayot Upamecano. I think he is only 6'1" or 6'2", so he is maybe not that aerial but if he is the one they wanted then bring it forward. Pay extra money and do it on January 1.

    "That means getting through 11 league games without Virgil van Dijk."

  • Ibrahimovic has 'shifted the balance more' in Italy than Ronaldo Ibrahimovic has 'shifted the balance more' in Italy than Ronaldo

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a greater impact on Italian football than Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Milan and Juventus head coach Alberto Zaccheroni. 

    The 39-year-old has made a considerable impact since rejoining Milan in January, scoring 11 goals in 20 appearances in the second half of the 2019-20 campaign.

    He has been in equally impressive form this season despite missing almost a month after contracting COVID-19, taking his tally to four goals in just two games with a double against Inter at the weekend. 

    One of the best strikers of his generation, Ibrahimovic spent two years with Milan earlier in his distinguished career, a stint that included securing the Serie A title in 2011. 

    Ronaldo, meanwhile, has been just as prolific since he joined Juve from Real Madrid in 2018, scoring 68 goals in 91 appearances across all competitions. 

    Zaccheroni, though, is in no doubt which player has had more influence on Serie A. 

    "I have coached great champions in my career, from [Oliver] Bierhoff to [George] Weah up to Adriano but the only regret I have is that I never trained Ibrahimovic," he told Il Giornale.

    "He is eternal and I still don't understand why he never won the Ballon d'Or.

    "In Italy, he has shifted the balance more than Ronaldo. It is no coincidence that many young players have grown exponentially since his arrival.

    "He doesn't just score. He transmits confidence to all his team-mates, carrying the team on his shoulders in difficult moments."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.