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Europa League

Inter Milan president details “different views” that led to Antonio Conte exit

Inter Milan’s president Steven Zhang has revealed different views on a limited transfer budget led to Antonio Conte’s departure.

Conte left the side in May 26 and the move shocked many as it came after he secured the Serie A title with the club.

The boss joined the Italian club in May 2019 and he had a solid first season.

He lead them to a second place league finish and to the Europa League final where they lost to Sevilla.

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Conte’s second season in charge saw them lift the league trophy for the first time in 11 years, but he soon left.

The mystery behind his exit has now become a little clearer as Zhang detailed how Inter chiefs and Conte came to blows over limited budgets.

Antonio Conte left Inter just three and a half weeks after winning the Serie A title
Antonio Conte left Inter just three and a half weeks after winning the Serie A title

He told Gazzetta Dello Sport: “I was and remain convinced that Conte is a winning coach: this is the reason that led us to invest so much in him and in the team in the last two years.

“Last summer the pandemic had greatly affected our revenues but we continued with him, focusing on the season convinced that we could win.

“The decision was right, but now the bill brought by the pandemic is such that we cannot fail to review the situation by looking for savings that lead to a future budget balance.

“We must reduce costs and control risks. This obviously also influences the transfer market strategy. Our different views on the situation led to the separation.

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“What wasn’t fundamental for him, was for the club, and vice-versa. Conte is a top coach, but as president I have to think about the solidity of the club.”

At the time of the announcement no insight was given into why the manager had left his post.

In a statement, the club said: “An agreement has been reached with Antonio Conte for the termination of his contract by mutual consent.

“The club would like to thank Antonio for the extraordinary work that he has done, culminating in Inter’s 19th top-flight title. Antonio Conte will forever remain a part of our club’s history.”

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Since leaving the club Conte hasn’t been short of new job offers with the biggest story linking him to the Tottenham Hotspur job.

Reports broke in May that Conte could be appointed as Jose Mourinho’s replacement but budget worries at Spurs are said to have halted negotiations.

This leaves Spurs without a boss seven weeks after Mourinho was sacked by the London club.

There were whispers that former manager Mauricio Pochettino was in talks to re-join the side but his current club Paris Saint-Germain seem to have done enough to keep hold of the boss.

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