Antonio Conte wants assurances from the board over their sporting ambitions before he commits to continuing with the club next season.
Antonio Conte has successfully guided Inter Milan to the Serie A title for the first time in 11 years. The Italian employed his infamous system of three central defenders to guide the Nerazzurri to the Scudetto- one which he reaped major success with, while at Chelsea. However, his future still remains uncertain despite the best possible results.
Gazzetta has reported that the manager wants to continue building on the existing squad rather than losing some of his key pieces, who have already attracted interest from several buyers across Europe. Conte believes that Inter Milan can continue to build on Italy’s dominance for the years to come, while also improving in the Champions League.
Achraf Hakimi, Nicolo Barella and Milan Skriniar have been the subject of interest from different parties, but these three are being particularly earmarked as untouchables by the former Juventus coach. While interest in Hakimi and Barella was basis their performance, Skriniar had failed to do well in a three-man backline before proving himself later on.
Meanwhile, Alessandro Bastoni, Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku and Stefan de Vrij, who were arguably Inter’s best performers, are also among the club’s best paid players. There was talk that one or a couple of them could be shown the door in the summer as the board looks to balance its wage structure but Conte also sees them as part of his project.
Besides keeping hold of the seven players who have been extremely vital to his fourth top-flight success in Italy, the 51-year-old also wants to sign three new players. Considering that he plays with two men upfront, Conte wants depth in the strike position by adding a fourth player apart from a left-footed wing-back and midfielder apiece.
Alexis Sanchez and Andrea Pinamonti are Conte’s back-up strikers at the moment, but the latter is expected to move on to greener pastures in such of regular minutes. Luis Muriel and Olivier Giroud are the two options Inter Milan are currently looking into, but the former has an expensive price tag whereas the latter’s wages may be beyond the club’s affordance.
As for the midfield, Conte wants to bring in Rodrigo de Paul. Atletico Madrid and Liverpool are already in the running for the Udinese midfielder, priced at 40 million euros, and the bidding war could go down to the wire and perhaps exceed de Paul’s original price tag. Yet, the newly crowned Serie A champions are optimistic about executing a swap deal.
Finally, the manager is keen on reuniting with one of Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso- both of whom were signed by him while at Chelsea. Although Alonso’s transfer may be a difficult prospect considering his importance in Thomas Tuchel’s eyes, Emerson, who has barely played any football this year may be an easy acquisition.
With his meeting with Steven Zhang, Conte has played the ball in the board’s court. It is clear that he does not want to be content with just a Serie A triumph and wants to go all in for the Coppa Italia and Champions League, more so after a group phase elimination in the latter. The manager will leave his job if the board refuses to agree to his demands.
What do you think the future holds for Antonio Conte and Inter Milan?