Antonio Conte: In profile
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Manchester United’s board did not entertain the idea of appointing Antonio Conte to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before Saturday’s comfortable win over Tottenham, according to reports. The current Red Devils boss has been under extreme pressure since last month’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Liverpool, who ran riot with a five-star performance at Old Trafford.
United chiefs quickly held discussions over Solskjaer’s immediate future in the wake of the result, but ultimately decided to give him more time to turn things around.
He was tasked with engineering a win over Spurs in order to stand any chance of keeping his job and the 48-year-old duly delivered.
The Red Devils found the net on three occasions without reply to hand Solskjaer a lifeline ahead of two huge tests against Atalanta and Manchester City later this week.
It was suggested before Saturday’s match that Conte, who managed Inter Milan to last season’s Serie A title, would be ready to step in and replace Solskjaer if the latter was relieved of his duties.
The Italian boss was reportedly interested in the potential vacancy at Old Trafford, but it seems as though United’s hierarchy had other ideas.
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Conte was never considered as a serious option to succeed Solskjaer, who retained the backing of many influential figures behind closed doors, according to the Evening Standard.
The report claims that United’s board have always been fully behind their current manager with an ‘overwhelming desire’ to see him achieve success in the role.
Spurs have since been credited with an interest in appointing Conte following Nuno’s dismissal after just four months in charge on Monday morning.
The Lecce native is reportedly set to travel to London in order to finalise a deal over the next few days, with an impending return to the Premier League seemingly on the horizon.
However, it is said that United stand almost no chance of poaching Conte from under the noses of Spurs, with a ‘dramatic change of plan’ now the only way for the Red Devils to hijack the proposed move.
Conte has been without a club since the end of last season after walking away from Inter, but now looks firmly poised to replace Nuno in north London in the near future.
Meanwhile, former Premier League striker Frank McAvennie recently urged United to go all out for the Italian, insisting that he is the right man to bring the good times back to Old Trafford.
“Conte is the one, he’s perfect,” McAvennie told Football Insider.
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“If Man United want an instant return to form and a manager who will take no rubbish from the players, it’s Conte. Some people are saying [Zinedine] Zidane but I just don’t see that.
“He’s a winner but he doesn’t have that Premier League experience. Conte has been here and done it. He did it in some style as well.
“No United fan would complain if their side played like Conte’s Chelsea. They would love it. He demands a lot from his players though.
“Would the likes of Ronaldo be happy with that? Who knows. All I know is they have to make a change.
“I’m certain we won’t be having these conversations for much longer. It’s a matter of time before Ole goes.”
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