Stellini: “Conte is eager to return – His salary demands? It’s a myth’


Antonio Conte’s assistant Christian Stellini shed some light on the former Inter, Spurs and Juventus coach: “The desire to return is strong.” Conte has been linked with a host of jobs in Serie A this summer, namely Juventus, Milan and Napoli, but has yet to enter into talks with any of them. Speaking in an interview with Telelombardia (as quoted by Stellini shed some light on Conte’s future, sharing some insights on their time together:

“The desire to return is strong. The year has been characterized by work and constant improvement: significant work was done in winter because Antonio always wants to update and better himself. In the next venture, if it happens, there will be tactical innovations: we’ve worked a lot on this. Conte wants to bring more unpredictability and modernity to the game.”

Stellini also commented on the alleged difficulty of managing Conte: “If we’re talking about management difficulty, this is common to all top coaches like Conte, even those who are currently growing. It’s never easy to create synergies between the club and the coach because the club always has result and financial requirements that don’t always align with the coach’s desire to win every game. Some coaches hide this fact, and others make it transparent: Conte is transparent, very demanding, but has always achieved great results. And that’s the crux of the discussion. Exorbitant market demands? Looking at Conte’s career, I see a coach who has asked for ambitious projects, not just players. And ambitious projects don’t necessarily mean expensive players. The only player expressly requested by Conte was Lukaku, who then scored 60 goals for Inter and won a league title: who wouldn’t have taken him at that time? And then he was sold for twice the amount. This myth also needs debunking: Conte has always taken on projects to develop, both in sporting and financial terms, and he has always delivered results.”

Continuing on this topic, Stellini said: “Does Conte only want a team ready to win? I don’t think there are any limits. These labels attached to Conte sometimes seem laughable. He’s like any other coach, not someone who would only choose certain types of projects. Recently, there was news about Leao associated with Inter, who wasn’t signed during Conte’s tenure, but going back in time, if Lukaku had been signed, Leao wouldn’t have been. At that moment, Lukaku was the better choice, although Leao was recognized as a significant prospect. A coach chooses based on his needs. It’s ridiculous to bring up this story. I think Leao is liked by everyone… Great players are always liked. And then, Antonio’s results speak for him. Even in the National team, he created a great group and achieved results.”

Finally, on the hypothetical future team of Conte: “What would he choose between Milan and Turin? He would choose the project, regardless of the economic aspect. All big teams, like Milan, can become suitable projects for Conte: there’s no preclusion from anyone. Antonio and I have never talked about it… But how can you not associate a great team with great coaches? This applies to all teams and many great coaches. Milan is a strong team, second in the standings. Of course, there’s a gap to be filled with Inter, but Pioli has done great things, and in Conte’s history, these gaps have been filled. Conte arrived at Juventus with Milan ahead, and Juventus returned to winning ways; Conte went to Inter after Juventus had won 9 titles, and this situation was reversed.”


Serie A obsessive.