Italian To Sit Out The Season
Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he will wait until the summer before returning to football management. The news comes as Real Madrid look set to appoint caretaker manager Santi Solari until the end of next season.
Conte looked set to succeed Julen Lopetegui as head coach at the Bernabeu, but he will instead pick up the full £11million he is owed by Chelsea following his dismissal as Blues boss. Negotiations dragged on long in to the summer until the west London club had to agree to paying him up the final season of his three-year deal. Taking another job would have meant forfeiting that money and when he entered talks with Real it soon became clear he wouldn’t be earning the same with the La Liga side as he was at Stamford Bridge. The difference could be measured in the millions so Conte has decided to sit it out until the summer.
“Real Madrid? As I see it, it is better to wait until the end of the season than to take a train running now,” the Italian told Sky Italia on Monday.
“I want to wait for June and start again with a new project. In three months I could change my mind and deny everything, but I’ve always thought of it this way.”
Conte is also believed to be keen on a move back to Italy. He is being tipped to succeed Massimo Allegri and return to Juventus, the club he managed from 2011 to 2014 winning three successive Serie A titles.
The news means Madrid will be bounced into appointing Santi Solari as their head coach until the end of June 2020.
Solari stepped up from the club’s B team after Lopetegui was dismissed last month Sunday’s 4-2 win at Celta Vigo was the side’s third on the trot after being appointed caretaker-manager with the side scoring 11 goals over those three games.
With the international break set to give Solari some respite he will sit down with club president Florentino Perez to discuss the situation. Critics will point to the three games – against Valladolid, Viktoria Plzen and Celta – as being matches Real ought to have won anyway.
After the break, Real travel to Eibar before going on to face Roma in a tricky Champions League tie in Italy and then taking on draw specialists Valencia in the Bernabeu. There then follows a string of games against Melilla, Huesca, CSKA Moscow and Rayo Vallecano before travelling to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup.