Reports are growing rapidly that Antonio Conte’s furious outburst has created an irreparable split at Inter, with Max Allegri or Mauricio Pochettino the alternative options.
Conte should’ve been celebrating the 2-0 victory away to Atalanta on Saturday evening, which secured second place on 82 points, equalling the 2009-10 tally under Jose Mourinho.
Instead, he used his post-match interviews to rail against the club hierarchy, claiming they gave him and the team “zero protection” from media attacks and would not be put in that position again.
There was silence from the Nerazzurri and a summit is expected between Conte and director Beppe Marotta on Monday.
Reports are growing rapidly on Sky Sport Italia, Sport Mediaset, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport that the damage is irreparable.
Although a dismissal is unlikely, especially with his €12m per season salary, it is entirely plausible that Inter and Conte will agree to terminate the contract by mutual consent after just one season.
As for the alternatives, Plan B is widely believed to be Allegri, who after all was brought in by Marotta at Juventus when Conte suddenly quit two days into pre-season training in 2014.
Allegri is now a free agent, as the contract he had with Juventus has expired, even though he was sacked a year ago.
There is another intriguing option mentioned by FCInterNews and Tuttosport, specifically ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Pochettino.
The Argentine is also a free agent and gave an interview with El Pais at the weekend confessing he was open to jobs in England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France.
This would certainly be a boost for Christian Eriksen, who played 255 games under Pochettino at Spurs, contributing 58 goals and 75 assists.
Eriksen’s arrival in January is one of the reasons behind Conte’s irritation with the Inter directors, bringing in a player for over €20m who did not fit his tactical set-up.
Conte has used Eriksen sparingly since the restart, at times even preferring to use midfielders out of position such as Marcelo Brozovic, Borja Valero or Nicolò Barella, in his trequartista role behind the strikers.