Inter Milan chief confirms the reason for Antonio Conte exit

Antonio Conte-Steven Zhang-Inter Milan-Serie A
Antonio Conte-Steven Zhang-Inter Milan-Serie A | Photo Credit: IMAGO

Inter Milan president Steven Zhang has revealed why Antonio Conte left the club despite guiding them to the Serie A title.

The club chief admitted that the decision to let Conte go was taken to protect the club’s solidity, citing that “our different views led to the separation”.

Conte left his post at the San Siro on May 26 after two seasons at the club, where he won the club’s first Scudetto in eleven years.

The reason for his departure remained unclear, with many media reports speculating that he walked away from Inter after being told they would need to sell several first-team players to balance the books.

But now, the club chief has confirmed the rumours that Conte was not ready to compromise amid the financial uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Zhang said, “From the first moment we took over Inter, we thought that Conte would be the best coach for our project.”

“I was and remain convinced that Conte is a winning coach: this is the reason that led us to invest so much in him and in the team in the last two years.”

“Last summer, the pandemic had greatly affected our revenues, but we continued with him, focusing on the season convinced that we could win.”

“The decision was right, but now the bill brought by the pandemic is such that we cannot fail to review the situation by looking for savings that lead to a future budget balance.

“We must reduce costs and control risks. This obviously also influences the transfer market strategy. Our different views on the situation led to the separation.

“What wasn’t fundamental for him was for the club, and vice-versa. Conte is a top coach, but as president, I have to think about the solidity of the club.”

Inter Milan have since appointed former Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi as a replacement for Conte, while the former Inter man remains out of a job after reportedly rejecting Tottenham‘s offer.