'Italy is always my first love' - Tottenham boss Antonio Conte hints at potential Serie A return
- Conte is yet to sign an extension with Spurs
- His current deal expires in June
- Hints at a possible return to Italy
WHAT HAPPENED? The Italian manager is tied to the north London team through to the end of the current campaign. No extension has been agreed as yet and Conte has remained non-committal when pressed about his future in the Premier League. The experienced tactician has had two successful stints in Serie A with Juventus and Inter respectively, where he won several accolades including four domestic titles. Conte has now fueled speculation over a potential return to his homeland despite currently enjoying the "celebration of football" in England.
WHAT THEY SAID: He told Sky Italia: "This is my second experience in England after Chelsea, and I only ever really lived in London, there is an incredible atmosphere in the stadium. It’s a celebration of football, so in that sense it makes you fall in love. However, you never forget your first love and Italy will always be first."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Conte had surgery to remove his gallbladder earlier this month, but will be on the sidelines at San Siro when Tottenham take on AC Milan in the Champions League this week and is looking forward to the occasion. "I return home, Italy is my home and it is always great to be here. Plus to be back at San Siro after 21 months, with two marvellous seasons at Inter and what we all shared together, this does give me strong emotions," he added. "The medics told me to stay calm in the first 15 days, he asked me not to return, but my sense of responsibility and duty to be close to the team made me rush it a little. I am dealing with it well, but I definitely cannot make my voice heard the way I would like to the players during game."
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Conte will hope that his troops will emerge victorious against Milan on Tuesday evening to take back a lead to London ahead of the return leg of the round of 16 tie on March 8.