Tottenham Hotspur risk losing Antonio Conte to Juventus after the head coach postponed contract talks until the new year, according to reports in Italy.
Conte is in the final season of the contract he signed when becoming Tottenham Hotspur head coach in November 2021. The club knew when they appointed him that there was a risk their union would only be a short-term one.
However, with the way things have been going, they will obviously want to ensure Conte sticks around beyond 2023. After all, the former Chelsea boss guided them to Champions League qualification with a fourth-place Premier League finish in 2021-22.
The new season has started well for Tottenham too. They are unbeaten from their opening seven matches in the Premier League; only reigning champions Manchester City can say the same.
However, developments in Conte’s native country are raising questions of his commitment to Tottenham. Precisely, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure.
Allegri replaced Conte in the Juventus dugout in 2014. From that point, he led the club to five consecutive Serie A titles before leaving in 2019.
He returned in 2021 to replace Andrea Pirlo. However, his second spell has not been as good.
Last season was Juventus’ first without a trophy since 2010-11, the campaign after which Conte originally took charge. Now, there is speculation that the Tottenham tactician could have a second spell in Turin of his own.
According to Calciomercato.it, there are reasons to believe Conte could return to Juventus. Among the speculation, it has been revealed that he has put contract talks with Tottenham on hold.
The north London side’s managing director of football, Fabio Paratici, has been trying to set up a renewal for Conte. However, the negotiations have been delayed until January at the earliest.
Calciomercato believes there is a chance that Conte might want to return to Italy, which could be behind the postponement of talks.
Juventus decision for Allegri unclear amid Antonio Conte speculation
It will be a waiting game, though, to see if a vacancy emerges at Juventus. The Old Lady would have to pay a significant sum to sack Allegri, who is under contract until 2025.
Hence, Juventus are weighing up the pros and cons of making a managerial change. But after just two wins from their opening seven Serie A matches, there is a growing sense of discontent in Turin.
Conte previously won Serie A in three consecutive seasons with Juventus. More recently, he led Inter to the title in the 2020-21 season, after which he left amid their mounting financial issues.
His tenure with Inter made him a bit less popular among some of his former supporters at Juventus. But with the way things are going under Allegri right now, many would seemingly welcome him back if the chance was there.
Therefore, Tottenham might be bracing themselves, or at least seeking some clarity from Conte. Only time will tell if they succeed in keeping the 53-year-old.
Clearly, they would rather have him stay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Their managerial position has otherwise been hard to fill in recent times.
After sacking Jose Mourinho in 2021, they went through several candidates that summer without finding an appropriate one. Nuno Espirito Santo ultimately got the job after Spurs previously ruled him out. But he didn’t last long.
Antonio Conte has brought a bit more stability. However, that could all change if he ends up leaving for Juventus – or anyone else – in 2023.