Antonio Conte

Pavel Nedved would like to bring Antonio Conte back to Juventus, despite the Tottenham manager’s fractious relationship with chief Andrea Agnelli.

Conte left Juventus in the summer of 2014 after feeling he wasn’t backed by Agnelli in the transfer window, with the pair famously having a spat last year, when the current Spurs boss flipped his middle finger at his former boss while managing Inter Milan.

Without their fall-out, Conte would have already returned to the Juventus dug-out.

Back in 2019, Conte while talking to Italian media on Mediaset television programme ‘lene’ said he could have returned to Turin as there was a ‘project to be completed, left unfinished with Juventus’.

Juventus director Nedved, and Tottenham’s managing director Fabio Paratici – then at Juventus – tried desperately to convince Agnelli to bring Conte back at the club, without succeeding as the club fell back on other solutions.

With Conte’s contract expiring in the summer of 2023, next year could be the right time for a return to Juventus. The Italian is one of the best coaches in the world and is perhaps the only man capable of reviving the club’s fortunes after a poor start to the season under Max Allegri.

Conte recently returned to Italy to spend a few days away from London, close to his family home in Turin, where his wife and daughter live.

Nedved and Conte are great friends and will surely have had the opportunity to talk to each other – with the prospect of returning to live close to his family, a priority for Conte who remains deeply attached to Juventus.

This is despite his unpleasant relationship with Agnelli and some of the club’s most extreme fans.

Nedved has always pleased the cause of a return for Conte, who is considered by some as among the greatest traitors in the history of the Italian giants.

According to ‘Corriere dello Sport’ in 2019, Conte has always been Nedved’s first choice to replace Allegri – who had then left after after his first stint as manager – only for Agnelli to veto the move.

Agnelli is the main person responsible for the decision to bring Allegri back to the Juventus dug-out, a move that so far looks to have been a mistake. He could therefore convince himself about backing down in his quarrel with Conte, and look to bring him back for the good of the club.

Conte’s work at Tottenham has been brilliant so far, transforming the club’s fortunes by bringing them back into the Champions League, and possibly being in contention for a Premier League title challenge this season.

His contract expires next summer though, and the question that all Tottenham and Juventus fans continue to ask is the same – what will Conte decide to do in June 2023?

It is difficult to imagine an extension of the agreement without an upgrade in their work in the transfer market, because at this point he would prefer to return home to Italy, to complete the work he left unfinished eight years ago.

Conte is a coach who divides and does not unite, with Juventus fans even undecided about his return to the Allianz Stadium.

His deemed betrayal of the club by joining Inter Milan, burns like an open wound and is difficult for the most intransigent part of the fans to accept this compromise.

However, the club’s choices do not have to satisfy the pleasure of the fans but the needs of the team.

Conte’s relationship soured with Agnelli back in May 2014, when the manager lashed out at the club by stating: ‘You can’t sit in the €100 euro restaurant if you only have €10 in your pocket.

‘In Europe, there are economically unattainable teams, it will be very difficult for me to see an Italian team in the Champions League final for many years to came.’

Conte’s words irritated Agnelli, who decided to look elsewhere from Conte, following his departure with years of domestic titles – before terrible defeats in the past three seasons.

Agnelli he has always defended Allegri because his 5 years of consecutive Serie A title victories have disavowed the words of Antonio Conte about the competitiveness of the team.

The chairman, during a shareholder’s meeting in 2017, said: ‘I thank Allegri who has carried out a work that others had considered already finished.’

Their most famous spat since Conte’s departure, came when the then Inter Milan manager pointed his middle finger at Agnelli during a Coppa Italia match with Juventus.

The Juventus president then came down the stairs of the grandstand and told Conte to ‘f*** off,’ confirming that the relationship had deteriorated.

However, with just two wins in seven Serie A games so far this season, including their shocking 1-0 loss to Monza at the weekend, the team is heading in the wrong direction and the Spurs manager is the only surgeon who can perform the open heart surgery on Juventus that is needed to bring them new life.

The Bianconeri needs a shock, an earthquake that can shake everything and restore new order.

The Italian outfit offers negative feelings to their fans at the moment and Allegri is a coach who cannot manage the team well.

Silent and combative as a player for Juventus, he turned into Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde when he became a professional manager.

If Conte didn’t have that personality, he wouldn’t be a winning coach. His obsessive ferocity is his strength and he can hardly win anything unless he finds an enemy to fight with.

Sometimes his character has led to mistakes that have paid dearly for Conte. The Italian is very loyal and at times his angular character risks not only working situations at the clubs he manages, but also the credibility in regard to his relationship with the press.

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