Antonio Conte is once again dominating the front pages of Italian sports dailies, but not because he’s about to win the Premier League.
Both Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport are devoting massive headlines and graphics to the Chelsea head coach to help sell their Thursday editions, but while the former is once again running with the Conte-to-Inter story (now supposedly helped by the presence of former Roma technical director Walter Sabatini), the latter speaks of Chelsea’s fury at all this continuing nonsense. Meanwhile, Tuttosport lead with an actual football story — WHAT!? — and relegate the Sabatini-Conte angle to the bottom left corner of their front page.
The story in both Gazzetta and Tuttosport is basically that Sabatini will pave the way for Conte to go to Internazionale with signings such as Antonio Rüdiger and Radja Nainggolan — i.e. familiar names used to sell many stories about Conte and Chelsea as well over the past year — as well as the previously rumored £10m/year, five-year contract (£10m=€12m; €70m total pay over five years). Gazzetta also claims that Conte would be given “total control” though that doesn’t seem to fit with the presence of a renowned sporting director like Sabatini, or the standard Italian model for that matter.
Gazzetta admit that Chelsea “will try” to keep Conte — NO SH*T, YOU THINK?! — Corriere dello Sport go a step further as Gabriele Marcotti reveals Chelsea’s fury as well as the aforementioned “hands-off” warning. Marcotti also points out that for a coach who’s repeatedly questioned players opting to take the money from China over the competition on offer in Europe, the move to Inter under similar circumstances is a non-starter. Conte’s project is only beginning at Chelsea, and everyone at the club, including the coach himself, is looking forward to our return to Europe next season.
Marcotti’s report also confirms that a significant raise is coming Conte’s way from Chelsea this summer, though at slightly lower figures than yesterday’s rumors. While the €9m yearly salary supposedly on offer is less than Inter’s potential offer, Chelsea remain confident that Conte will not hesitate to sign, especially in light of the fantastic relationship he’s developed with the fans and the club.
So say we all.