Manchester United suffer setback as Antonio Conte rules out mid-season appointment
According to Todofichajes (h/t The Sun), Antonio Conte has rejected a very ‘generous offer’ from Manchester United amidst calls to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Italian boss has ruled the roost in the last decade, having won multiple Serie A titles and a couple of domestic trophies in England with Chelsea, including the coveted Premier League in 2017.
After having the Italian league with Inter Milan last season, Conte left the Nerazzurri after a falling out with the club president Steven Zhang. Since then, the 52-year-old has been out of work has now been linked with the Man United as well as the Newcastle United jobs.
Solskjaer is facing a lot of pressure at Old Trafford after suffering a massive dent in their Premier League hopes over the last month or so. While the victory against Tottenham has brought back optimism defeats to Atalanta and Man City could derail things again.
Although the former Inter manager prefers a move to the Manchester-based club than St. James’ Park, he is not keen on joining either club mid-season. Conte wants to take charge of a new project from the beginning and wants to make the big decisions that will set the tone of the season.
However, he is not the only man on United’s list. Leicester City head coach Brendan Rodgers is high up the club’s priority list, while Sir Alex Ferguson has also earmarked PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino as a potential candidate to replace Solskjaer.
While Rodgers has done admirably well with the Foxes, Pochettino transformed Spurs from a Europa League side to a Champions League team during his tenure in North London.
Thus, there are several replacement options, but it remains to be seen who is appointed at the managerial hot seat, should the Norwegian be sacked in the near future.
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Tottenham Hotspur meanwhile are considering the future of Nuno Espirito Santo and could make a beeline for Conte to replace him. Whether the Italian will break his mid-season rule to take over at the Lane remains to be seen. Solskajer will be one man who will breathe a sigh of relief if that happens.