Speculation over Antonio Conte’s future is rife once more following their exit from the Champions League.
Spurs’ Champions League Round of 16 exit to AC Milan, that saw them play a miserable 0-0 draw at home, failing to overturn their 1-0 first leg defeat, led to plenty of boos from the home crowd at full-time.
In 2023 they’ve also crashed out of the FA Cup to Sheffield United and will once again end the season without any silverware.
A former title winner at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter, the Italian is out of contract at the end of this season and there are reports he could be keen on a return back to Italy.
MORE: English Premier League table 2022/23: Updated EPL standings
Antonio Conte sacking betting odds
Conte is listed as the second-favourite to be the next manager in the division to lose his job after West Ham boss David Moyes.
Here are the favourites in the “sack race” according to Sky Bet.
Odds as of March 8, 2023
(Sky Bet — UK)
|David Moyes||West Ham||1/1|
|Steve Cooper||Nottingham Forest||20/1|
|No manager to leave||–||20/1|
|Patrick Vieira||Crystal Palace||20/1|
Antonio Conte Spurs timeline: What has Tottenham manager said about leaving?
Repeating a theme of his career, Conte is once again demanding his club back him in the transfer market this winter.
Spurs achieved a top-four finish and Champions League qualification with a strong finish to the 2021/22 season, something he described after the Villa setback as “a miracle”.
“It happened, why? Because we played only one competition and we played with 12 or 13 players that didn’t have injuries in the last 15 games,” Conte said.
“We played with the best players every game, because we played only the league. Don’t forget that with three games to go, Arsenal was four points up from us — and that we finished 20 points behind Manchester City.
“We did a miracle, but I knew what the situation was and then I was very clear with the club [about what was needed] to become title contenders.
“I remember very well in the summer people talked about Tottenham as title contenders, but in my experience, it was a bit crazy to see this.”
MORE: Last time Spurs won a trophy
Spurs completed the signings of Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Cristian Romero, Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet, Djed Spence and Fraser Forster at an estimated cost of £172 million during the close season, but Conte insists they must continue to spend.
“To become title contenders, to become a team ready to fight to win something, you need to have a solid foundation, which means to have 14 or 15 strong players, with quality, and the other young players to develop.
“Every season, you can add two players, but two players priced £50m, £60m, £70m. In this way, it means you are signing important players who can improve the quality and the level of your team.”
The reality is that speculation over Conte’s future has never been far away since he succeeded Nuno Espirito Santo midway through last season and only committed to an 18-month contract.
Last February, Conte expressed disquiet over the club’s mid-season dealings in the winter transfer window. He secured the services of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus on deadline day, but saw moves for Adama Traore and Luiz Diaz fail to come off as Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele and Bryan Gil departed.
“What happened in January  is not easy. Four players left in January. Four important players for Tottenham, two have arrived. So even numerically instead of reinforcing yourself you may have, on paper, weakened.”
It meant murmurs over Conte leaving at the end of the 2021/22 campaign remained until, well, he didn’t and turned his attention towards a Champions League campaign. Spurs came through a tough group to set up a last-16 meeting with AC Milan.
Last October, the Athletic reported discussions were underway between Spurs and Conte over a new long-term deal. However, the 53-year-old apparently sought an agreement in the region of £20m annually, while the long-term hasn’t appeared to feature too prominently in his thinking.
Prior to the Palace game in January, Conte once again seemed to leave the exit door ajar.
“My task is to help the club, to create a base, and then to try to improve,” he said. “If you say to me, ‘The challenge for you is to win the Premier League, to win the Champions League’, this is not the task in this moment.
“My task – I understood it very well – is to help the club go in the right direction about the choices of the players, about the work, to organise and to create a foundation.
“This is my big challenge here. If I want to stay here, then I have to accept this. Otherwise, if I don’t want to accept this, then I have to go.”
Speaking after Tottenham’s Champions League exit, he said: “It’s not today the day to speak and discuss about my future.
“I have a contract until the end of the season and Tottenham know very well my thoughts… at the end of the season we will speak.”
MORE: Why Darwin Nunez needs to give Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp more
Antonio Conte sacking history: How long did he stay at previous clubs?
After two short spells in charge of Arezzo, Conte was appointed Bari head coach in December 2007 and led them away from Serie B relegation trouble. The following season, he masterminded a run to the title and promotion to the top flight.
However, Conte did not lead Bari in Serie A, leaving by mutual consent in June 2009 amid speculation linking him to Juventus, only for his former teammate Ciro Ferrara to land the Juve job.
Conte took over at Atalanta where he only lasted half a season, leaving in January 2010 with La Dea 19th in Serie A. He then again showed himself to be a promotion specialist when he helmed Siena’s instant return to the top division in 2010/11.
At that stage, Juventus finally came calling and Conte sealed the Scudetto in his maiden season, the first of three consecutive titles during his tenure, culminating in a 102-point haul in the 2013/14 campaign.
The national team came calling and Conte duly obliged, leading Italy on an impressive run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, where they lost on penalties to world champions Germany. By that stage, he’d already decided he wished to return to club football and did so with Chelsea.
MORE: Conte demands Tottenham find solutions after post-World Cup draw
Conte repeated the trick he pulled off at Juventus, overseeing a run to Premier League glory in 2016/17 at the first time of asking. His relationship with the Stamford Bridge board became increasingly confrontational thereafter, with the club missing out on Romelu Lukaku — his preferred replacement for the controversially jettisoned Diego Costa.
Despite winning the 2017/18 FA Cup, Conte was sacked after a fifth-placed finish to be replaced by Maurizio Sarri, who he succeeded at Arezzo a decade earlier.
After a year’s sabbatical, Conte took over at Inter. He managed a second-place finish in 2019/20 — relentlessly pushing his employers for reinforcements in public, as always — before ending the dynasty he launched the following season, dethroning Juve and sealing the Nerazzurri’s first Scudetto in 11 years.
However, Inter’s plans to recoup vast sums in the transfer market to ease financial problems, including selling the likes of Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, meant Conte left by mutual consent within a month of winning the title.
MORE: All the Round of 16 pairings in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League
Antonio Conte trophies: full list of career honours
- Serie B runners-up (promoted): 2010/11
- Serie A: 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2012, 2013
- Premier League: 2016/17
- FA Cup: 2017/18