Secret Conte meeting leaves Tottenham in the lurch, with ‘fractured bond’ no longer preventing worst possible outcome
Tottenham are growing increasingly vulnerable to losing Antonio Conte next summer after Italian reports detailed worrying claims involving Juventus.
The appointment of Antonio Conte was universally viewed as a serious coup for Tottenham. The Italian arrived with a reputation as a serial winner having won league titles at each of his three previous clubs (Inter Milan, Chelsea, Juventus).
Despite taking over mid-season, Conte quickly reinvigorated a struggling Tottenham side and guided them to fourth spot.
A 3-0 thumping of bitter rivals Arsenal in the latter stages of the campaign proved pivotal, with Spurs’ ascension into the top four coming at the Gunners’ expense.
Tottenham began the current campaign brightly, though their form has tailed off of late. Their Champions League fate will be decided in gameweek six. They’re the only English side who hasn’t yet qualified for the knockout rounds.
On the domestic front, Tottenham have lost two in a row and criticism over Conte’s defensive tactics has been voiced.
The Italian’s contract is due to expire next summer and Gazzetta dello Sport claim Conte has put extension talks on hold.
Hinting why, it’s claimed a return to Turin to succeed Max Allegri could be on the cards.
Conte heals old Juventus wounds
Juventus are floundering under Allegri and have failed to qualify for the knockout rounds of the UCL. Their Serie A form has fared little better, with Juve currently sat eighth, 10 points off leaders Napoli.
Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, is reportedly content to give Allegri the full season before making his judgement. However, if Allegri gets the boot, Conte could return to the club he managed between 2011-14.
That notion would’ve previously been unthinkable due to the acrimonious manner in which he left Juve in 2014.
Indeed, when the idea of re-appointing Conte surfaced in 2019, Agnelli reportedly vetoed the move and appointed Maurizio Sarri instead.
However, it’s claimed a secret meeting held over the summer resulted in Agnelli and Conte burying the hatchet. In their words, the ‘fractured bond’ has been repaired and Agnelli would no longer block a Conte return.
The pressure is now on Allegri to turn things around with a more than capable manager seemingly waiting in the wings.
Furthermore, the heat will rise on Tottenham to convince Conte his long-term future should remain in north London.
While it’s fair to say his tactics aren’t every Spurs fan’s cup of tea, losing a manager of his calibre who has won league titles as recently as 16 months ago would constitute a disaster.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently confirmed Spurs have an option for an extra 12 months in Conte’s deal. However, if they’re serious about re-establishing themselves back among the top four, Conte must be retained far longer than that.
READ MORE: President responds to Tottenham links for prolific striker who could succeed Harry Kane