Tuesday April 30 2019
Which club should Conte choose?

With Antonio Conte’s next move up in the air, Jay Cassano weighs the pros and cons of seeing him at Roma, Inter, Milan or Juventus.

After a year on a £9M-a-season sinecure from Chelsea, Antonio Conte looks ready to take his next coaching position and work for a living. The Premier League and Serie A winner has been linked with a number of benches for next season, including both Bayern Munich and Manchester United. But it seems most likely that Conte will return to Italy. But which top club will he be coaching by the time next season kicks off?


Conte has been linked most heavily with Roma, with director Francesco Totti saying “every club would go wild to get him.” Even caretaker Claudio Ranieri has taken the almost unheard of tack of not angling for the permanent position himself and instead saying he’d “love Conte at Roma.” The advantage of Roma, for Conte, is the opportunity to make his mark in the history of one of the most passionate fan bases in Italy. It also comes at a pivotal time for the club, as owner James Pallotta finally looks set to get approval for his new stadium plan.

Conte, however, is not known for particularly long stints at any club, with the three years at Juventus his longest. While Roma have a number of promising youngsters, Conte may not stick around long enough to see them grow. And he isn’t exactly known for bringing youth through the ranks - in his first season at Juve, there was barely a player under 25 in the squad and none who featured regularly.

Conte has yet to be tested at a club squad that wasn’t set up to be immediately competitive. So it’s hard to imagine him taking the job if Roma finish outside the top four this season, which would almost certainly see them forced into selling NicolòZaniolo.

Roma’s squad, in general, is probably the weakest on this list, which would be a challenge for any Coach. But for Conte it poses a particular problem: the lack of three quality centre-backs to play his favored 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 systems. Kostas Manolas is the only top central defender in the squad and his release clause is so dangerously low that he may not stay even if the club do secure a Champions League berth.

Roma affords Conte the opportunity to become a club legend if he shepherds them to success, but it also has the potential to end in disaster.


Unlike Roma’s problems in defence, Inter could have one of the most fearsome back threes in world football next year should they choose to play Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij and Diego Godin together. Conte would surely relish sending that back line out on to the pitch.

Inter have a reputation under Luciano Spalletti of lacking a clear identity, something Conte would certainly provide. He’d have to get the locker room in order after the Mauro Icardi saga. But that might make his reputation for brutal training sessions and strict discipline more welcome at Inter than at other clubs.

Coaching the Nerazzurri would be a massive rebuke of Conte’s Bianconeri heritage, which may not be his first choice. But of the options in Italy, it gives him the most chance for success at a club whose project is well underway and has significant financial backing to see it through. Conte will demand new signings anywhere he goes, and Inter are well-positioned to deliver them.


Like Inter, Milan could martial a solid back three, with the likes of Alessio Romagnoli, Mattia Caldara and Mateo Musacchio. Caldara even has the advantage of being familiar with three at the back from his time playing at Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta. A dual strike force of Patrick Cutrone and Krzysztof Piatek wouldn’t look so bad either, though neither is particularly noted for their link-up play.

Being the Coach to bring Milan back to its glory days certainly has its appeal. The Milanese project has recently turned a leaf by bringing club icons Paolo Maldini and Leonardo back to the club. And they are in the market for a new, top tier Coach after Gennaro Gattuso has brought them as far as he can (after, it’s worth noting, exceeding everyone’s initial expectations of him).

But Milan, like Roma, are at risk of missing out on the Champions League. Failing to qualify for the lucrative tournament would surely set back their project and see Conte look elsewhere. If they do make the top four, the Rossoneri would be a fine choice for Conte. Especially since it seems likely that if Conte were to displace Spalletti at Inter, going across town to Milan would be Spalletti’s first choice.


On the one hand, reprisals rarely go well for any Coach. Just ask Spalletti about his second time in charge of Roma. But on the other hand, Conte could be the man to bring the long-awaited Champions League trophy to Turin. Being on the pitch for the club’s previous Champions League triumph and in the technical area for their latest would transform Conte into a permanent Juventus legend.

And there’s a solid argument to make that Conte is the right man to win the Champions League for Juventus. While the biggest trophies in his cabinet are the Scudetti and Premier League title he’s won, Conte has actually shown himself to be a quite adept cup manager. He led a Diego Costa-less Chelsea to the FA Cup in his second season at the helm and he somehow steamrolled an Italian national team lacking any real talent to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to a German side that had just won the World Cup.

Unfortunately for Conte, Juve’s management have been sending signals that Max Allegri will be sticking around for another season. If Conte wants this job, his only hope would be that Allegri chooses to walk away from the perpetual criticism he endures.

Regardless of where Conte ends up next season, it should make Serie A all the more thrilling and we have the possibility of seeing all of the best Italian managers back on the peninsula at the same time: Allegri, Ancelotti, Spalletti. And soon: Conte.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.

Have your say...
Juve do not need Conte,he had his chance with the champions
and did not take them to any CL finals so i do not understand why people think he can do any better if he comes back.Italy needs him to manage another Serie A side so maybe JUVE will have some competition next season.
If Conte is a top manager then he needs to show what he has with another side except Juve.!!!

on the 8th May, 2019 at 6:57pm
The man has no sense of loyalty, he walked out on Italy for a bigger pay cheque. He made some bad choices in the Euros, Insigine should come earlier against Germany, and he bought Zaza on in the final minute of extra time to take 'that penalty', Juventus weren't a force in the CL under him. As mentioned here, he doesn't understand strikers, yes he done well in the domestic league.
on the 1st May, 2019 at 10:32am
It would be great for Serie A to get Conte back but if he goes to Inter or Roma he will need 200m to compete with Juve and it just won't happen.Hello therefore PSG.
on the 1st May, 2019 at 9:30am
Conte will go to who pays him the most, and gives best exit plan deal. Cuz that’s all it’s about now. Fans say the players are mercenaries long term commitments or loyalty to clubs just want the money ( notwithstanding Totti DeRossi Messi ) ...managers are same way.
Only job where ya make alotta money while being constantly fired hired fired rehired doing the exact same thing.
....anyway Roma with some overhauls, but i think milan has all the players, just needs to find a formula.
on the 1st May, 2019 at 6:20am
Inter is the most logical destination. They have the type of players he likes and a partner in the boardroom in Marotta. Milan need an experienced and established coach. No more ex-players just starting out. Donadoni, Giampaolo or Gasperini would be good choices for them. Gasperini would be my choice because of the the number of ex-Atalanta players currently in Milan. Sarriball will work well with Roma.
on the 1st May, 2019 at 1:00am
Everyone bashing Conte on his exploits in Europe. He's only had 3 seasons in the champions league. Only one of them can be considered a real failure - the season he went out at the group stages with Juve. He was incredible for Italy in the Euros which has to be included in any fair evaluation since it's no different to champs - top level, highly competitive tournament play with all the best players across the continent.
on the 1st May, 2019 at 12:46am
Inter, Roma, and Milan could all really do with him. But Juve don't need him

But, this being Italy, the wrong decision will surely be made and he'll end up in Turin

I imagine he could easily take Milan, Roma and Inter to a much more competitively-placed 2nd where they might actually offer a threat to Juve instead of making excuses/whining

As for Juve, his record in Europe isn't good enough for where they want to be. He'd be far better at the other 3 clubs where a bit of grit is badly needed
on the 30th April, 2019 at 10:19pm
There's no doubt Conte would raise the level of Milan, Inter, or Roma but the question is - can he develop young players and build an identity around them? This is more of a problem for Milan and Roma so Inter is probably his best destination.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 7:45pm
Conte knows nothing about strikers and he chased away players like Del Piero, Quagliarella, and Diego Costa as examples.....and then he has wierd choices of strikers such as Llorente, Iturbe, Giovinco, Graziano Pelle........he's a good babysitter but no good for Champions League
on the 30th April, 2019 at 7:23pm
minestra riscaldata? Alot of the time it tastes better the second time around! minestra riscaldata a la Lippi/ Trappatoni?
on the 30th April, 2019 at 6:55pm
Conte is a good coach, and I hope he goes to one of the Milan's or Roma, as they all need a strong identity and some revitalization. As the article mentions though, Conte isn't know for being liked or spending too much time at a club. Hope he is able to change that and really make Italy competitive again.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 3:44pm
Anywhere but Juve, thanks for everything Antonio - including pushing the greatest Juventino bandiera Alessandro Del Piero needlessly out of Juve - but Juve need a proper manager, not a guy who gets easily outclassed under pressure in Europe.

He should go to Milan, or Roma - most likely, as they need long-term stability after their shambolic domestic form and constant changing and chopping.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 3:27pm
I’m really hoping that he ends up in Roma , I think Roma is done with up coming managers. And it’s what Italian football needs. Roma haven’t had a top class manager since Capello days!
on the 30th April, 2019 at 1:22pm
play 433 and so we'd only need one player - a pacey LW. Sarri took Napoli from 5th to their highest ever points tally in his first season in 15/16 and then beat that tally again in 16/17 and 17/18. Rudi Garcia took Roma from 6th in 12/13 to 2nd in 13/14. Anyone noticing a theme? It's almost as if the manager makes all of the difference.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 12:28pm
Would Caldara, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Calabria, Kessie, Biglia, Rodriguez, Paqueta, Cutrone and Piątek beat Torino? The problem with switching to 352 is that we'd need to sign a few CBs. I suppose Rodriguez could play CB with Zapata as the other cover so maybe we just one CB. We'd need a new LWB and two new strikers...there'd be no room for Suso or Castillejo unless we played 343. That's a lot of changes. My preference would be to go for Sarri who plays better football and is more likeable. He'd
on the 30th April, 2019 at 12:22pm
If Gattuso fails to get Milan to finish 4th then Conte would be a good replacement. He took Juve from 7th in 10/11 to an unbeaten 1st in 11/12 and Chelsea from 10th in 15/16 to 1st in 16/17. So he's got form for turning around teams. He also seems to be good at getting more out of existing players which I think is absolutely key if the Milan is to avoid another "re-set" this summer. As the article says 352 actually works really well with this Milan.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 12:10pm
Roma has a long bench and a chance to sell in order to boost the rotten defence with something promising at a lower price. Also Roma have a string of Azzuris and really need a top coach.I hope he comes over.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 11:44am
I really hope he'll end up coaching Roma but i see that only 2 clubs have more chances to sign him. Either Roma or Inter.

01. Milan is recently linked with DiFrancesco & I'm very sure they'll sign him.

02. Rubentus? Isn’t there a saying in Italy “minestra riscaldata”?? Sacchi & Capello in Milan, Spalletti in Roma, Delneri in Chievo and more. It’s like a career suicide & they'll stick with Allegri for sure.
on the 30th April, 2019 at 10:28am

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