Having left Tottenham Hotspur back at the end of March this year, news surrounding Italian manager Antonio Conte had gone pretty quiet really compared to what is the norm, but in the middle of this week he exploded back into the headlines and it was being claimed that Serie A side, Napoli, had formally approached Conte over a return to management with them.
Having had a five month hiatus from the game, it is reported that the 54 year old is now Napoli’s top target to replace former gaffer Rudi Garcia, and it is expected that further talks will take place this week, although at this stage, no formal or official decision has been made by either party on what the future may hold.
Napoli fans will note that this report originally stems from journalist Fabrizio Romano, and in recent years in the world of football, he is one of the few who is far more regularly on the money in his claims and reporting, so we could see movement on this one quite quickly, however, supporters of the Partenopei will certainly note that Conte himself has actually distanced himself from the rumours that are doing the rounds.
Speaking to the media after the claims of talks being held first surfaced, he explained.
“I keep hearing constant rumours that link me to important clubs. But again I say that for now my only wish is to continue to not work and enjoy my family.”
Many will believe that distancing statement is vague enough to simply be showing respect to Garcia who still remains in place, whilst also suitably stating that they have not yet met his preferred demands.
Garcia, having taken charge last summer, may feel a little hard done by here if he does get the sack as they are currently sat in fifth place in the table and he has won five of the ten games that he has been in charge for so far, but obviously the Napoli board has planned on regaining the title they won last year, so they are assessing their options.
With Conte being a known winner, and having history in Serie A from his previous spell with Inter Milan, not least the fact he has picked up four Serie A titles during his career, it is also believed that they are potentially looking at another former Chelsea manager in the shape of Graham Potter.
Potter would be a stranger pick given his own career trajectory here, but it is worth watching.