Juventus boss Antonio Conte has today failed to rule out a possible future at Inter ahead of Saturday’s game. “We’re also not thinking about Bayern Munich yet.”
Conte was asked about a potential stint on the Nerazzurri bench at some stage in his career and he didn’t close that door.
“You can never say never in football,” Conte, a former Juventus captain, stated on the eve of the Derby d’Italia. “I’m a professional.
“I’m always the biggest fan of the teams that I Coach. That was the case at Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta, Siena and, obviously, Juventus.”
Putting the hypothetical to one side, Conte turned to the reality of facing Inter and then Bayern Munich in the space of four days.
“For us the game with a capital G is the one against the Nerazzurri,” he said amidst suggestions that his side are primarily concentrating on the Bayern tie.
“People who know me are aware that the next game is always the most important, therefore the Inter match.
“This is a key stage of the season with six games in 21 days. We are playing for the Scudetto and the Champions League.
“But we are certainly not thinking about the Bayern game, we are focused on Inter.
“I know from experience that if you try to calculate results then you run the risk of getting things wrong. You have to think about one game at a time.
“I’ll pick the best side possible and I expect an open game. The draw would not be a good result for either of us.”
Juventus are nine points clear at the top of the table and Conte is keen to keep that gap intact over the weekend.
“We want to confirm ourselves in the championship and we can’t fail in specific games, because we are playing against a great side and tradition.
“Inter can beat anyone in a game.
“We have to follow our objectives which are to win the Scudetto again and continue our Champions League dream.”
Conte admitted that he did have some selection problems to resolve after the recent international break.
“We’ve had 15 internationals fly all over the world and not all of them returned in prefect condition. Mirko Vucinic, for example, has a fever.”
The tactician also defended 20-year-old Paul Pogba who was sent-off in only his second cap for France against Spain.
“I saw the game and I thought his dismissal was wrong seeing as the first booking was non existent when you consider that he jumps normally for the ball.
“With experience he could have avoided the second. But I have to compliment him as he’s showing the progress he has made with us by playing for his country.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.