Patrice Evra says he is still in disbelief that “genius” Antonio Conte was not seen as the right fit for Manchester United.
Conte was an option for United after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November. The Italian, who managed Chelsea for two seasons, was out of work after leaving Inter Milan last May.
The 52-year-old had led Inter to the Scudetto – their first for 10 years – but he left over a disagreement over transfers.
However, Manchester United officials were not keen on appointing Conte. He was apparently not seen as a good fit with Evra claiming with Ed Woodward and Co did not think the Italian fit United’s style.
Instead United appointed Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season and missed out on the top four.
Conte meanwhile was handed the Spurs job in November and propelled the club into next season’s Champions League.
And Evra, 41, who won five Premier Leagues and a Champions League at Old Trafford, believes Conte is ready to turn Spurs into a major force.
“It hurts my heart,” he said. “Because I think Conte, Klopp, Guardiola – all those managers are the best in the world right now and we could have had him at Manchester United.
“But some people at the club, they said: ‘It’s not our style, it’s not what we’re looking for.’
“So let’s see, now we have Erik ten Hag. Let’s see what he’s going to do. He has my support. But then, even if you brought a chef in, as the manager of Man United, he’d have my full support.”
Conte has already looks to have assured the future of Harry Kane and he is looking to stamp his own authority on the squad.
Conte ‘could have done something’
Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic and keeper Fraser Forster have all arrived and Evra has claimed the Italian is a master craftsman.
In his book, I Love The Game, via The Mirror, he said: “It’s is a massive disappointment because he could have done something at Man Utd.
“And you can see with Tottenham, he helped them to qualify for the Champions League spot.
“They have the same players, so that’s why this manager is a genius. When I arrived at Juventus, every player told me: ‘Patrice, this guy is a genius.
“He’s addicted, he’s so passionate about football. So you’re going to run really hard. He’s going to make you sweat. But if you look at the Tottenham fans, they are so happy because when they see the players now, win or they lose, they give everything. That’s the mentality of Antonio Conte.
“That’s why I say it hurts. Not because it’s Tottenham – I love every team – but it’s just because Conte could have done something.”