Antonio Conte refuses to rule out a return to Juventus but has ruled out a move to AS Roma this summer.
The Ex-Bianconeri boss gave a lengthy interview to Gazzetta Dello Sport where he looked back at his Juve career and to his future as a coach.
“Why did I leave Juventus? They were three very intense years in which we made a machine push more than it could,” he told Gazzetta.
“Very exhausting years, from all points of view. Then again arguments can happen, even in the best of families. But in those three years I gave it my all, in every way.
“I feel indebted to (Andrea) Agnelli. I had made him a promise and told him: ‘It will take time, but the objective is to bring Juventus back to the top of the world.’ And I wasn’t able to fulfill it.”
“Returning to Juventus to fulfill my promise? Marriages require the consent of both sides. I think Juventus started a path and they’re very happy with Allegri, who has surely continued the job and is doing very well. Then again, you never know what tomorrow brings.
“Why haven’t Juve won the Champions League with me or Allegri? Two totally different cycles. I took a Juve which wasn’t a protagonist & that had disappeared from the CL.
“We had good players but with little Champions League experience. Today, Juve’s structure puts them among the top 3-4 in the world.
“Even with Chelsea, they were 10th and not even in the Europa League. Then next year we won the Premier League and made it to the champions League. It has never happened yet that I have taken charge of a top team. I always started with teams in difficult situations. Today’s Juve is among the best in the world.
“2011? It was the only time I had offered myself to a team. Silvio Baldini, a colleague, told me ‘Antonio, you want to coach Juve? Do like Guardiola did with Barca call the president. Talk to Agnelli’. I thought he was crazy but the idea stuck in my head.
“So I contacted Andrea and we had a long talk. I told him: ‘Today’s football is played with intensity. We can immediately qualify for the CL, but we must have certain values. The first, for me, is the sense of belonging. Players must never feel like they’re just passing by.”
“That was my message to Andrea Agnelli, who is a man of courageous views. I entered with a zero chance (of becoming Juventus coach), and exited with a higher possibility of it happening. And then I was appointed.
“Juve was coming from a difficult period, and we had to do a clean sweep. Fabio Paratici helped me a lot with this task. The squad was good but Fabio warned me: ‘there are issues, especially with that sense of belonging which is important to you.’ And he was right.”
“Pirlo? Andrea was an example. At the beginning the training sessions were tough because I wanted to send a message of commitment and sacrifice to the team. And Andrea never once said a word and that put anyone who wanted to complain in a position of not being able to do so.
“The tactical shape? I first started with the idea of a 4-2-4 with Pirlo and Marchisio being the midfielders. Then there was a slow metamorphism and we reached the 3-5-2, which became the Juve brand. A coach must be flexible, never ideological. Of with principals and ideas.
“When we say that formations are just numbers then there is something wrong. Every system has an idea behind it: memorized movements, offensive phase, defensive phase, pressing high/low etc. And above all, at Juventus there is a unique alchemy.
“What should a club that want Conte offer him? I have to work with my idea of football and methods. I’m not a gestore (a manager of situations/players). I don’t think a coach’s objective is to do as little damage as possible. I find that humiliating.
“I want to implement, because I am very strict with myself. Also because I have a problem: victory. Which I believe is the ultimate goal of my work. The path to get there is made of sacrifice, hard work, unity of purpose, to think of “we” and not “I”. I know nothing else.
“Does that also apply to Inter and Milan? It applies to any team. I must have the belief of being able to beat anyone. I have to feel that winning is possible. Otherwise, without any problems, I can still remain as I am (without a club). Roma? The conditions are not there.”