Paul Pogba is just one of several Manchester United players who could reap the rewards of the potential appointment of Antonio Conte. While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job is not currently under threat, the former Chelsea boss appears to have put himself forward for the job further down the line, as per Sky Italia.
Reporter Gianluca Di Marzio, who has been working with Conte for Sky in Italy, made it clear that the project at Old Trafford would be of interest to Conte.
The former Inter Milan boss is currently taking a sabbatical after guiding the Nerazzurri to the Serie A title last summer before his departure.
Conte held talks with Tottenham before the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo about potentially taking over in north London but he did not feel Spurs were ready to win straight away.
That is what he requires in his next job and his track record speaks for itself, Conte knows how to win.
Yet even when Pogba was performing, Conte knew how to push him to the next level and he demanded more from Juventus’ star boy.
Even after scoring an impressive strike against Sampdoria in early 2014, Conte refused to lavish Pogba in praise and instead focused on what he could improve.
“Tonight Pogba could’ve done a lot better,” said Conte. “I’m not joking! I’ve certainly seen better performances from Paul. At times the goal fogs the vision of the whole game, but I get angry as people forget everything around it.”
It was the perfect relationship. As we’ve seen at United, getting the best from Pogba has not always been straightforward.
However, father figure Conte was able to keep the France international grounded, while driving him to new heights as Pogba explained after his debut season: “Conte has done nothing but push me.
“It is easy to end up nowhere, so I have to keep working hard. It is my first year, but the coach has shown he is not afraid to give me a chance, and that age does not mean a thing.”
While in charge of Chelsea, Conte needed no second invitation to praise his former player, making it clear he was worth building a team around…
“We are talking about a fantastic player. My expectation is to see him on the pitch,” Conte said.
“Every coach has to find the right way to manage him. Pogba is showing at United he is a top player.”
The prospect of a reunion at Old Trafford would only strengthen United’s chances of keeping Pogba, who is currently out of contract at the end of the season.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return is believed to have swayed him towards signing a contract extension and if Solskjaer cannot deliver results, Conte will be waiting in the wings to replace him in the United hot-seat…