It’s an Italian vs. English tabloid-off. The former keep coming up with rumors about Antonio Conte wanting to return to Italy — the latest today was that he’s even “agreed” preliminary terms with Inter (whatever that even means) — while the latter keep printing stories denying any and all such nonsense. We’re used to having to poke holes in the theories of the Star or the Mail or the Mirror or whoever, but in this situation they seem to be the voice of reason, which is a bit weird. And perhaps concerning.
Could it be ciao Conte? Reports claim the Chelsea boss has been offered mega money to return to Italy https://t.co/q6U9M0tiXE pic.twitter.com/RaYokCOSqr— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 1, 2017
That said, the situation in general is not exactly unique, as we’ve had similar party lines drawn in transfer rumors over Eden Hazard or Thibaut Courtois with the Spanish press, so perhaps everybody’s just pushing their own agenda without too much regard for the actual truth. The rest of the world may just be waking up to the concept of fake news, but in the football world, we should be used to dealing with them by now.
What we do know is that Conte, at least in his public actions and comments, seems very happy at Chelsea. as one imagines he would be after such a successful first nine months in charge — despite reports trying to make mountains out of molehills when he talks about the harsh realities of modern football management, or about his life in London without his family. On that latter point, he’s been saying for some time that his wife and daughter will be joining him at the end of the season, which the Mail’s report reiterates as well. Presumably, as per recent rumors, Conte is also likely to be rewarded with a new three-year contract should Chelsea win the league, which, barring tremendous catastrophe, is almost a foregone conclusion.
The Conte era is just beginning and this is just the first chapter of what is hopefully a long, beautiful, and very successful relationship.