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Thursday May 15 2014
Ciao Juve? Not yet

Speculation is rife that Antonio Conte may wave goodbye to Juventus this summer, but Jeremy Lim thinks that their story is really just started.

When one takes in all of Juventus’ latest success, Antonio Conte’s name immediately pops to mind. The two have become synonymous with each other. But no sooner had the freshly-crowned Italian champions sealed another incredible year then the Coach straightaway dampened the heady atmosphere.

“These things go in cycles and I’ve already told the club what I think. We will soon clarify the situation. If there was a unity of ideas to leave with great affection and respect, then I would evaluate other projects that intrigue me,” the 44-year-old reflected on Sunday. If there was any way to sour the Old Lady’s first hat-trick of titles since the 1930s, or the feat of achieving a new League points record, Conte had certainly found it.

His statements form part of the narrative that looks like an increasingly pitched battle to keep the trainer occupied in Turin. Domestic dominance has been forthcoming, though it’s assumed that Champions League success is now the tactician’s personal bugbear.

There was the challenge from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Milan and then Edinson Cavani’s Napoli, but Juve pulled out all the stops in two excellent campaigns. Yet they spectacularly bowed out of Europe’s premier club competition in the group stages this season.

A run to the Europa League semis followed, but playing the final in their own stadium still proved a bridge too far. Back in Serie A and now fresh from staving off a Roma side that challenged them with remarkable levels of consistency, Conte rightfully craves a European triumph.

That confirmation that he is a member of the coaching elite need not arrive in Turin. For consecutive summers, greener pastures abroad have beckoned via rumours and media speculation. So far, Conte has not penned a contract extension yet as he questions his ability to take the Bianconeri any further beyond the third Scudetto he has deemed ‘historic’.

But Marcello Lippi assures the mastermind will stay as long as there is unfinished business at the club. “When I read he could leave Turin, I remember the love he has for this club and I doubt he’ll leave before achieving something important in Europe too,” the man who Conte won the Champions League with as a player, stated. And that reality, coupled with the outfit’s frightening room to grow, would appear to pour cold water on the exit talk circulating.

After all, the challenge has far from dried up. Juventus have only looked increasingly rabid for success over time. The present setup already bears Conte’s mark after being ingrained with his insatiable desire to win. It’s no coincidence the boss’ third year at the helm has coincided with the biggest return in sporting achievement. Not many other vacant sides can boast a springboard similar to Juventus’ to launch bids for silverware from.

The club will continue providing their former midfielder with the means to nurture his ambitions while offering a sheltered existence. “Conte has benefited from experience, as he is coaching at the same club where he played for many years. The advantage is that he’s more protected. The longer he resists the fascination of trying a different League, the better,” another former Coach and serial winner, Giovanni Trapattoni, pointed. Indeed, there couldn’t be a better match at present. Just as Juventus need Conte, Conte needs Juve.

With the tipping point to further growth now arrived, Conte can immediately reap the fruit of his own labour. What’s left is merely to fine-tune the machine. Surely it is only a matter of time before all the final details separating the sleeping giants from belated recognition on the continent fall into place.

Arrangements are thought underway to prepare the squad for a return to the 4-3-3 and the expressiveness necessary to take on Europe’s other heavyweights. Meanwhile, just as quality signings like Carlos Tevez immersed their title hopes in newfound credibility last summer, more can be expected to arrive as Conte pushes for a revolution of the playing staff available.

He will find plenty of stimulation as he strives to make his club exceptional. The room for improvement represents an intriguing project for the Coach to continue applying himself to. There will be no room for uneasy truces when the time comes to commit himself to more time at the helm. Conte’s commitment to the Bianconeri’s cause remains heartfelt and genuine. Together, they can go about much more serious winning.

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Have your say...
I can't believe people say Juve doesn't have the players for Europe. That's why all the big clubs want Pogba, Vidal, Tevez. Not to mention the italian national team members, they have. Definteley Juve have better players than the Danish,Turkish and Portugese teams they couldn't beat. Always excuses. Look what Simeone did with Atletico.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 10:28pm
For those who says Conte is Mancini, bark all you want with your hatred. Conte is the continuation of Lippi and Capello.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 9:53pm
@Anonymous

"I can't understand why juve would sell Vidal it just doesn't make any sense
Do u think Barcelona or Real Madrid would messi or Ronald,I don't think so.we need to strengthen our team not baddy weaken it.

There is a "slight" difference in the financial standing between Juve and RM and Barca.. lol. Not sure if you read but Messi makes 50m a year on he's new contract and ronaldo is around 60m... that being said, yeah.. thats pretty tempting lol.

De rossi makes 6.5m/year..
on the 16th May, 2014 at 9:03pm
Juventus obviously do not have the revenue of teams like Real Madrid & Barcelona. Marotta has always been very open about that. Despite this he has pulled off some amazing deals. Llorente & Tevez cost a combined 12 Million Euro's and have scored 38 goals this season. Madrid's front 3 cost 200 Million. Vidal, Lichtsteiner and Barzagli cost approx 20 Million combined and have been magnificent. Conte needs to decide his future quickly. If he does decide to leave, Juventus will not crash and burn.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 7:03pm
I meant to say Conte is no way Mancini
on the 16th May, 2014 at 3:50pm
I can't understand why juve would sell Vidal it just doesn't make any sense
Do u think Barcelona or Real Madrid would messi or Ronald,I don't think so.we need to strengthen our team not baddy weaken it. JUVENTUS wake up to yourself
on the 16th May, 2014 at 11:16am
@D master - Napoli, Roma and Fiorintina have hardly been weak have they...all three are srtong its the Milan Clubs thats are lacking at the Mo. Esp AC its sad for Italian football But the quicker the laws change and everyone makes a collective effort then it will dwindle further! I come on the portuguese league better then Serie A?! thats a joke! and its only down to Europa League successes! but thats the reality right now
on the 16th May, 2014 at 11:05am
@Dmaster- while i agree with u to an extent I think Conte has wat it takes for Europe more the mancini, Mancini had it easy with no competition PLUS! he had top level players to achieve this but rubbish in Europe! and did the same with City. Conte does not have luxury players apart from a handful and not in the positions we are lacking.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 11:02am
Simeone is far better than moody moaning whinging Conte. Conte does not have the qualities to become a great manager. Do not be fooled by 3 titles in an average moment for Serie A. His REAL test is next year - does he have the cajones to remain and see himself be possibly beaten? Not sure, his ego is huge and his ability to lose and accept a loss fair and square, is non-existent. If he leaves he is running scared. If he remains, he could ruin the reputation for a big club wanting him.Not easy.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 10:15am
DMaster, Are you serious with your comparisons? I don't recall Juve being gifted any titles. I also don't recall either Roma or Napoli being docked points. Inter was not relegated either, so your comparison between Mancini and Conte can't be serious. Conte's biggest issue is that he isn't getting the players he wants to attempt a serious challenge in Europe. I have a feeling with players capable of playing in multiple formations Conte would mount a serious challenge in Europe.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 10:03am
@ old lady I don't think its unfair in the slightest to suggest that Juve and Conte should've done better in Europe. Yes other Serie A teams didn't do great (Milan did at least get out of their group) but Juve are the 3 times champions. In fairness to Conte this year the CL was a comedy of errors finishing with the farce in Istanbul. I would've preferred for Juve's luck to abandon them in Serie A not in the CL (cue conspiracy theorists aka Inter fans.....)
on the 16th May, 2014 at 9:58am
I Disagree conte is Mancini 2.0. All the players love Conte, they apply his philosophy of the game and his hunger is passed on to them. This team was terrible a few years ago, he changed the mentality completely. Also Juve did great in Champs league 2 years ago, beaten by the winners Bayern in the end. This year Juve were knocked out of group stage because of early season preparation being behind most euro teams, and the unlucky last game against Galatasaray where the game was postponed.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 9:01am
Conte is not going anywhere. This is all for leverage as he has done everything he can in the league and now wants Euro success. He needs a stronger squad that he can rotate regualarly. Think about it, Peluso is the reserve LB.
on the 16th May, 2014 at 3:27am
Conte is Mancini 2.0. He's dominated a league where the other challengers have been at their weakest. In Europe he's shown to be very lacking, just like Mancini. Now that Roma and Napoli are preparing serious runs for next years title he decides to leave. He's taking off to preserve his reputation.
on the 15th May, 2014 at 11:27pm
Let's concentrate on winning The World Cup!
on the 15th May, 2014 at 10:59pm
Plz dont leave mr conte
dont make sour our third consecutive scuddeto
non posso sopportare si lascia :(
on the 15th May, 2014 at 10:06pm
Guys, Conte is playing politics thats all. you think you wants to leave? hes playing hard call because he knows he needs a few important, and a little costly pieces to compete in europe. and hes tired of failing in Europe. He wants to be assured that the team will be competitive for CL
on the 15th May, 2014 at 9:10pm
Hmmm... Man U..
on the 15th May, 2014 at 8:30pm
After what happened with DelPiero, I don't rule out anything. But it would be a huge mistake for Juve's directors to let him go. After Lippi and Capello (+ Ancelotti) eras, Conte is the real deal. Juve should protect and support him as long as possible. If he goes out, it would be a huge waste.

Hopefully he'll stay.
on the 15th May, 2014 at 8:16pm
P.S i still dont think Marrota has what it takes on a true higher level IE europe and top level player...constantly sayin the wrong things, Juve are MASSIVE and until they start thinkin that way all the way through the board etc i mean then we will struggle for a few more years...as we are we are not far off the top level..but now more then ever investment is needed to evolve further in europe with success comes exposure and sponsors! more fans and better marketing
on the 15th May, 2014 at 7:21pm
dont see the lure of the english league...they have money and great marketing but thats it...its sugar coated by the media as being great but its not...and thats been shown in the last 3 seasons...Conte goin there? maybe but i hope not..france? no attraction there..germany?? not needed..russia? no thanks..if he goes to the UK it would be for Man U..and i hope he fails..Juve would be mad to sell Vidal to them, they may aswell sell the rest too and just sit on their laurels!
on the 15th May, 2014 at 7:18pm
I really dont know who Juve could sign, Iturbe? Muriel?? Bacca? Moreno from Sevilla?? surely these kind of players are reachable? we need a top Level winger and unfortunatly that means Money! mistakes have been made along the way regarding the structure! maybe a diff site could have been used for the ground so it was easier for fans outside of Turin and the capacity is WAAY to low for a "giant" not sayin 70k but should have been around 50 to 55k! thats more revenue. lets see what happens
on the 15th May, 2014 at 7:13pm
If Conte leaves its a shame. but life goes on. sayin that Spaletti and mancini are DEF! a step or 2 backwards! if thats what we are led to believe. we need x2 Pacey Wingers, a forward whos dif to what we have IE Pace and clinical finishing, x1 LWB / LB with genuine pace. dont see what Cerci offers to be honest. the project 5 years ago was build a squad then add 2 STARS a season, that has not happened Marrota keeps insistin on economics which is fine but surely we are better now??
on the 15th May, 2014 at 7:06pm
If Juve are looking to play a 4-3-3 then they should definitely NOT sign Nani who is awful. I'd bring in 2 of Cuadrado, Cerci, Griezman. They would give Juve the pace and trickery needed on the wings to play the 4-3-3, but equally, Cuadrado could play in a 3-5-2 if they decided to play that formation. Griezman/Cerci could play off the Striker in the 3-5-2 formation as well.
on the 15th May, 2014 at 6:02pm
@ Maldini's Heir
as a juve supporter i wished they performed better in europe but why constantly bash conte for his european performances? the guy has like 2 years experience in europe and not everyone quickly adjusts to it. some take time but he'll get there with the right signings. before italian teams bash juve and conte for european performance first look at yourself cos you guys arent doing much either to improve the coefficient. at least juve the last 2 yrs has collected 25+ coefficient pt
on the 15th May, 2014 at 6:01pm
I agree that for European success they just need some fine-tuning. It would be such a shame to see Conte walk away when there's so much he's done and considering what's left to do. Italian clubs need consistancy with managers!! Pirlo will play another year and I want to see them go for a 4th Scudetto, why stop now, Conte?! I'd support him going to England after another couple of years; I'd also suppot him to become Juve's Fergson. What Juve and conte are doing is good for Italian football.
on the 15th May, 2014 at 5:29pm
@ Maldini's Heir

Even if Conte leaves i doubt juve will collapse and never win again. juve managers have come and gone and juve still is the best club in Italy. conte leaving wont stop that. sorry to disappoint you.just proves that conte is a terrific coach that rivals are salivating a "potential" decline if he goes.The management structure in place is far better than what any other Italian club has and the success will continue. They would pick a competent coach to continue conte's work.
on the 15th May, 2014 at 3:41pm
@ FERBAN Hands off De Sciglio! He's not going ANYWHERE. We'll give you Mexes, Bonera, Emanuelson and we'll throw in Robinho. 4 cracking signings!
on the 15th May, 2014 at 3:29pm
The lack of CL success has little to do with the formation. A more offensive wingback and a speedy striker would've made all the difference to making 3-5-2 work. Making a good 4-3-3 would be even harder with current squad.
on the 15th May, 2014 at 1:45pm
I think he may stay, but is probably testing the water for new signings.

The squad is strong and is definitly a QF of the CL team, but they need a few more to push to the next level. If Atletico Madrid can win the CL, then so can Juve.

They should push Milan for De Sciglio, sign Grenier as a Pirlo back-up, get either Cuadrado or Cerci for the switch to 4-3-3 and bring back Immobile(if he wants to stay) and Gabbiadini.

Those moves could easily be funded by a host of reserve players being sold.
on the 15th May, 2014 at 1:33pm

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