According to reports, Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy wanted Antonio Conte to remain in charge until the end of this season.
Conte did a phenomenal job last season after replacing Nuno Espirito Santo. He masterminded Tottenham’s great end to the season as they pipped Arsenal to finish fourth in the Premier League.
There was a lot of optimism around the club heading into this season, with it hoped that they would kick on again with the help of Conte.
But this campaign has been disastrous for the Londoners. They exited each cup competition in disappointing fashion and the club’s supporters were not taking to Conte’s negative approach to games.
Conte regularly butted heads with the club’s hierarchy during his time in charge and the situation at Spurs erupted following their 3-3 draw against Southampton last month.
His side dropped points despite being 3-1 up and Conte hit out at his “selfish players” after the final whistle: “I don’t want to speak about the tactical, I’m talking about the spirit and the heart we put into the pitch.
“Instead, we are losing this characteristic, if you don’t have this in my experience you can lose against these teams – Sheffield United (FA Cup) with younger players, today we are winning 3-1 and feel the perception anything can happen and we’re scared. What we’re seeing in these last matches, I don’t like it. I’m not used to seeing this. I see a lot of selfish players. I don’t see a team.”
Conte left Spurs around a week after this outburst and the club made the bold decision to promote from within to make the Italian’s assistant – Cristian Stellini – their interim head coach until the summer.
Unsurprisingly, this decision has quickly backfired. Stellini was sacked earlier this week following Tottenham’s embarrassing 6-1 loss against Newcastle United.
The Sun have now revealed some details behind ‘Conte’s farcical exit’.
Levy ‘did not want him to leave when he did’ and ‘while knowing Conte had no long-term future at the club — he wanted the fiery Italian to stay for the rest of the season’.
The manager ‘refused to return from Italy’ so Levy’s ‘wishes’ were turned down. The report adds.
‘Understandably, no successor had been lined up with just a few weeks remaining.
‘But Conte, having already criticised the players publicly, was having none of it.
‘And insisted he was staying in Italy and leaving regardless of what was announced in the statement.’