With Manchester United links growing, it’s worth asking why did Antonio Conte leave Chelsea back in 2018?
Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a man in the spotlight right now for all the wrong reasons. His side were embarrassed at the weekend, losing 5-0 at home to Liverpool in the Premier League.
Well-respected journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that there are internal talks within the Manchester club about Solskjaer’s position.
In addition, available 52-year-old manager Conte would be willing to talk to Man United, if a vacancy becomes available. There has been no official contact, though.
Conte has been out of work since May when he left Italian giants Inter Milan, but he did win the Serie A league crown with them before departing.
Why did Conte leave Chelsea?
Conte, who spent two years as Chelsea boss at Stamford Bridge, hit the ground running in English football by winning the Premier League in the 2016/17 season. Incidentally, he’s the most recent Blues manager to win the league crown.
He couldn’t follow that success up in the following 2017/18 campaign, though, by guiding the team to fifth in the league standings. The success of winning the FA Cup in that second season wasn’t enough for him to stay. He was sacked in July 2018 with one year remaining on his contract at the time.
Despite winning the hearts of plenty of Chelsea fans, he couldn’t stick around for the long haul and there was plenty of unrest in his second year.
Conte claimed in an interview last November that Chelsea “lost the momentum” halfway through his tenure after failing to sign transfer targets Romelu Lukaku and Virgil van Dijk. Current boss Thomas Tuchel now has Lukaku to rely on in his squad.
Finally, there was the infamous text message Conte sent to then-Chelsea striker Diego Costa where he said he was out of his plans. Costa has since opened up on the relationship he had with the manager.
Would he be a success at Old Trafford?
First of all, it’ll hurt a lot of Chelsea supporters imagining their ex-boss taking charge at rivals Man United. However, they’ve had practice before with Jose Mourinho managing both Man United and Tottenham.
From an outside view, it looks like Man United may be best served moving in a new direction to help themselves try win trophies again. Chelsea’s example of bringing in Thomas Tuchel mid-season should serve as some inspiration.
Conte would certainly shake things up in Manchester.
A lot of his success in club management has been using a back-three, whether that be in a 3-5-2 system or a 3-4-3 formation. It would be new ground for United, who are traditionally a back four team.
The charismatic Italian brings in aura with him wherever he goes and only time would tell if he’d be the right fit.
He’s not the man for United on paper, but you wouldn’t bet against him winning them a first trophy since May 2017.
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