Conte confirmed as Inter boss; double swoop expected to follow

Antonio Conte will get to work on reshaping his squad immediately after his appointment as head coach at Inter Milan was finally confirmed by the Serie A side.

The 49-year-old returns to management having been sacked by Chelsea at the end of the 2017-18 season.

“A new chapter in my life is beginning, I’m really excited,” said Conte on Inter’s official website.

“Through my work, I’ll try to repay all of the trust that the president and directors have placed in me.

“I have chosen Inter because of the club it is, because of the project’s sound basis and how ambitious it is. Because of Inter’s history.

“I was struck by the club’s transparency and the desire to bring Inter back to where it belongs.”

Conte spent two years at Stamford Bridge, winning the Premier League in his first season and the FA Cup in his final match in charge in May 2018.

The Italian replaces the sacked Luciano Spalletti at the San Siro after the Nerazzurri finished fourth in Serie A this season, 21 points behind champions Juventus.

Former Italy boss Conte will be charged with closing the gap on his former side, which he led to three league titles in three seasons as manager between 2011 and 2014.

And new signings are soon expected to follow Conte into the club, amid reports Inter are closing on a double deal.

The first of those is expected to be Romelu Lukaku; Conte trying – and ultimately failing – to sign him for Chelsea in summer 2017.

However, the bulky Belgian striker has reportedly been cleared to leave Manchester United following a meeting with the club on Wednesday – and it seems a switch to the San Siro looks his most favoured option following this strong hint from Lukaku.

“Playing in Serie A is a dream, it would really be a dream. I hope to be able to play there sooner or later, even if at the moment I am focused on Manchester United and fourth place,” he told Sky Italia last month.

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United

Lukaku doesn’t look like being the only former Chelsea player set to end up at Inter either, with recent reports also claiming Conte is keen on a deal for one of his trusted stars from his Stamford Bridge era in Victor Moses.

Reports in the Italian media have also claimed Conte is keen to ship out club talisman Mauro Icardi; Atletico Madrid are the latest club to be linked with the Argentinian.

Whatever comes this summer and indeed through the season to come, Inter president Steven Zhang believes the appointment of Conte will prove inspired.

“I’m sure that Antonio Conte is one of the best coaches out there,” Zhang said.

“I’m certain that he’ll help us achieve our objective and fulfil our mission, one which has always remained the same: to make this club one of the best in the world again.”