Antonio Conte has explained his reasons for snubbing Tottenham in the summer after he was appointed their manager at the second time of asking. Conte was confirmed as the new boss on Tuesday, just a day after Nuno Espirito Santo had been sacked.
And speaking following the announcement the Italian lifted the lid on why he initially was not so keen on the job.
He told the club’s official website: “Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching.
“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”
The appointment will no doubt be met with great excitement from Spurs fans, and Conte clearly cannot wait to get going in North London.
He added: “I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.
“Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.
“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.”
Spurs’ managing director Fabio Paratici had a big role to play in convincing Conte to sign up, with the two having worked together at Juventus.
And he said: “We are delighted to welcome Antonio to the Club. His track record speaks for itself, with vast experience and trophies in both Italy and England.
“I know first-hand the qualities Antonio can bring to us, having worked with him at Juventus, and look forward to seeing his work with our talented group of players.”
Conte’s first game in charge could be the Europa Conference League tie against Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday, although it remains to be seen whether he will get a work permit in time.
If not, he will be in the dugout at Goodison Park for Spurs’ Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday.
Spurs currently languish down in ninth in the table, and Conte will be tasked with getting them challenging for a Champions League spot once again.
He will certainly have his work cut out initially, with a number of players simply looking not good enough for the level Spurs want to be at.
But their supporters will be hoping that over time he can lead them to a bright new era at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.