Antonio Conte has suggested that he put the brakes on a potential move to Tottenham after growing concerned about the club’s long-term project.
The former Inter man was widely expected to become Spurs’ new boss, only for talks to break down late on. Officially, it was the club who ended negotiations, but only after Conte began to distance himself from the job.
In a recent interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Conte opened up on why he has rejected offers of work this summer, and while he did not specifically mention Spurs by name, I think we can all tell what he’s talking about.
“The market sets the price, but had I been obsessed by money, I would have stayed where I was in the past. I would have accepted compromises and obtained new contracts,” he said. “I look for the projects instead and I am ready to stay at home if something is not convincing me. It has to do with vision, honesty and principles.
“Generally, I like the challenges and I’ve accepted many of them during my career. Even the top clubs I coached were never the favourites when I arrived. However, if there’s something that doesn’t convince me I prefer not to accept regardless of the money.”
Again, there’s no specific mention of Spurs there, but those words do match earlier reports suggesting Conte felt there was too much work to be done at Spurs and feared he would not be given the financial backing needed to turn the team into champions.
The Italian boss also took the chance to hit out at former Inter president Massimo Moratti, who recently told Il Fatto Quotidiano that Conte lacked affection for the club and ran away from a challenge.
“I can’t deny his words left me embittered and disappointed,” Conte replied. “Moratti is smart and classy and represents the history of Inter along with his family. However, we spoke on the phone and he apologised because that words did not reflect his real thoughts.
“Whoever knows me is aware of the strong bond I have for every team I coach. I give everything everywhere I go. Somebody leaves tired teams and players who have given all. I always leave young and improved players and united groups with a winning mentality.”