‘If something doesn’t convince me I’d rather say ‘No, thank you”: Antonio Conte hints Tottenham’s ‘project’ didn’t impress him and his salary of £15m a year was NOT the reason for talks abort laundry
- Antonio Conte has suggested he was unconvinced by Tottenham’s project
- The Italian insists he would be happy to compromise on wages for the right club
- The ex-Chelsea boss said he would rather ‘stay at home’ than lead the wrong team
- He left Inter Milan last month after becoming frustrated with a lack of resources
Antonio Conte has suggested he was ‘unconvinced’ by the Tottenham project after talks to become their next coach collapsed – insisting he would rather ‘stay at home’ than run the wrong club.
Conte was the frontrunner to succeed Jose Mourinho in north London after he eloped from Inter Milan over concerns over their lack of funds in the transfer market and cost-cutting property demands – but negotiations with Daniel Levy also quickly stalled.
The former Chelsea coach has won a league title in five of his last seven seasons in club football and appeared to be a potential coup in Tottenham’s bid to rejoin the elite.
Antonio Conte hinted that he was not convinced by the project sold to him by Daniel Levy
Sports post reported last week that Conte was delaying the move over concerns about their prospects of winning silverware — with the Spurs giving up their pursuit. The North Londoners were similarly concerned that he would be unwilling to give young people opportunities.
In an interview with The Gazzetta dello SportConte – who usually demands around £15 million a year – seems to be shining light on his failed move to north London – suggesting money was never an issue.
“Let me say that if my problem or my obsession was money, I would have stayed where I was in the past. I would have accepted compromises, and maybe… [accepted] innovations. But instead I look at the projects and am willing to stay at home if they don’t convince me.’
Conte has often taken charge of struggling teams and took them to the next level – he took over at Chelsea after they just finished 10th and won the Premier League title the following season.
Former Inter Milan boss says he would rather ‘stay at home’ than manage the wrong team
Conte worried about Tottenham’s prospects of winning silverware next season
Prior to his appointment, Inter Milan struggled to qualify for the top four in Serie A and led them to the title in his second year.
Had he accepted the job at Spurs, Conte would have faced an equally difficult task as the team would play in the Europa Conference League next year after finishing seventh, as they battle to keep star man Harry Kane, who wants to leave.
But Conte insists he likes “challenges” and would have no problem accepting a difficult leadership role, but insisted that if he can’t imagine being successful anywhere, he will quickly decline.
“In general, I like challenges and I have shown that I have always accepted a lot because even the big clubs that I had never started were favorites when I took them on,” he added. “But if there’s something that doesn’t convince me, I’d rather say ‘no, thank you’.”
Conte insists he is not motivated by money and likes to take on challenges in his career
Tottenham have now turned their attention to former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca
Tottenham have now turned their attention to Conte and Sportsmail understand they are in talks to appoint former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca, who was sacked by the Italian side in favor of the man who sacked Spurs – Mourinho – last season.
The Portuguese boss is open to a Premier League transfer, although there is some caution in getting him to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, up-and-coming sporting director Fabio Paratici is fond of Fonseca, making him one of the frontrunners for the job.
Spurs have been frustrated in their search for a new coach, with the club missing out on Julian Nagelsmann, who went to Bayern Munich, while also failing to bring Mauricio Pochettino back from PSG.
Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag was a target, but ultimately tied his future to Ajax, as the end of Conte’s talks brought them back to the drawing board.