Antonio Conte to lead Napoli rebuild after atrocious Serie A title defence

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Antonio Conte to lead Napoli rebuild after atrocious Serie A title defence

Napoli confirm the appointment of former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur head coach Antonio Conte as their new manager on a three-year contract.

Former Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte has made his long-awaited return to management, signing a three-year contract with Serie A giants Napoli.

The Premier League and Champions League-winning head coach had been out of work since leaving Spurs in explosive circumstances in March 2023, ranting and raving in a press conference after a 3-3 draw with Southampton.

Conte had witnessed his Tottenham players blow a 3-1 lead against the Championship-bound Saints, leading to an astonishing press conference where he blasted his players as “selfish” and appeared to take aim at the owners by pointing out Spurs’ trophyless streak.

The 54-year-old’s position quickly became untenable, and he left by mutual agreement not long after, subsequently returning to Italy to spend more time with his family after their prolonged period apart.

Conte had supposedly rejected the chance to take over as Napoli boss last October, when the 2022-23 Italian champions sacked Luciano Spalletti‘s under-performing successor Rudi Garcia, before seeing out the season under Walter Mazzarri and Francesco Calzona.

However, by the end of the 2023-24 season, Napoli’s players made unwanted history with the worst Serie A title defence in the three-points-per-win era, finishing 10th in the standings and a whopping 41 points below champions Inter Milan.

‘Conte appointment an important new chapter in Napoli’s history’

Despite previously turning down the Italian powerhouses, Conte has now taken on the role of Napoli head coach on a three-year contract, taking him up to the end of the 2026-27 campaign.

“Napoli is a place of global importance. I am happy and excited at the idea of ​​sitting on the blue bench. I can certainly promise one thing: I will do my utmost for the growth of the team and the club. My commitment, together with that of my staff, it will be total,” Conte told the official Partenopei website.

Meanwhile, president Aurelio de Laurentiis hailed Conte’s appointment as an “important chapter” in the history of the club, adding: “I am very proud that the new coach of Napoli is Antonio Conte.

“Antonio is a top coach, a leader, with whom I am sure that the necessary refoundation can begin after the conclusion of the cycle that led us to win the scudetto last year after many seasons at the top of Italian football. Today an important new chapter in the history of Napoli opens.”

Conte’s arrival at Napoli represents the 54-year-old’s 10th top job in management, having previously served as head coach of Chelsea, Tottenham, Inter Milan, Italy, Juventus, Atalanta BC, Bari, AC Siena and Arezzo.

The new Partenopei boss is a four-time Serie A winner – most recently leading Inter to the 2020-21 title – and will be tasked with overseeing the 2024-25 rebuild after last year’s horrendous Serie A reign.

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