Antonio Conte DENIES he is trying to take Maurizio Sarri’s job at Juventus as he tries to put a halt to his war with Inter Milan bosses with a promise to focus on the Europa League after his furious outbursts at a lack of ‘support’
- Antonio Conte suggested he could quit as Inter Milan boss earlier this week
- He had been linked with a move to Juventus, something Conte furiously denied
- Conte insists that he is focused on delivering silverware in his time at Inter
Antonio Conte has furiously rejected reports in Italy that he is trying to engineer a move from Inter Milan to Juventus and dislodge Maurizio Sarri from his job.
Conte’s Inter side finished only a point behind champions Juventus in Serie A this season but after beating Atlanta at the weekend, he sounded frustrated by the Inter hierarchy’s ‘soft’ management and also suggested concerns regarding the club’s future activity in the transfer market.
But now in another twist, Conte has made peace with the Inter board after a telephone call with club president Steven Zhang and has hit out at a suggestions in the Italian press that he had contacted Juventus to see if they were planning to sack Maurizio Sarri.
Antonio Conte has issued a furious retort to suggestions he was pushing for the Juventus job
Maurizio Sarri (left) has been under pressure at Juve, despite winning Serie A this season
Conte spoke angrily in response to claims that he had asked Juve if Sarri is going to depart
‘Regarding the article published today on Repubblica, I categorically deny the fact that I spoke with Juventus directors and players asking ‘are you going to sack Sarri?’ Conte was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.
‘I will sue those who wrote this article and the editor in charge of the magazine.’
Conte has both played for and managed Juventus, winning Serie A five times as a player and another three from the dugout.
But despite his links to the club, he moved to reaffirm his commitment to the Inter cause and distanced himself from suggestions he could be set for an untimely departure.
Conte has underlined his ambition to deliver silverware during his time as Inter manager
Conte and Inter are in action this week against Getafe as the Europa League campaign restarts
He told ANSA: ‘I took on a three-year project with Inter and as I have always done in my life I will work hard and will fight with all my strength and with all that is in my possibilities to make it a winning project.’
But speaking after Inter’s 2-0 win over Atlanta on Sunday, Conte cut a different tone.
He told Sky Italia: ‘It has been a tough year on a personal level, very tough. I don’t think the players saw their work recognised, I don’t think I saw my work recognised and we all received very little protection from the club.
‘We have to grow and improve in all areas, including off the field, and a big club should protect its players more. We’ll discuss it all at the end of the season, I have to meet the president (Steven Zhang) and he’s in China right now.’
Inter could also confirm a permanent move for Alexis Sanchez as early as Wednesday
While the domestic Italian season has come to an end, Inter’s battle for silverware is ongoing as they meet Getafe in the Europa League round of 16 on Wednesday night.
Inter’s second-place finish in Serie A means that they already have assured themselves of Champions League football for next season.
And Conte could soon be appeased in the transfer window, too. Reports in Italy on Monday said a deal to sign Alexis Sanchez on permanent terms could be confirmed as early as Wednesday – after they have played Getafe.
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