Antonio Conte is said to be ‘interested’ in taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United but would demand two things, according to journalist Duncan Castles.
Solskjaer is still manager of Manchester United but is under considerable pressure after failing to win any of their last three Premier League games.
Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Conte is tempted by the challenge but would have two demands: Complete buy-in from Manchester United and the freedom to determine his own formation, which would presumably mean a three/five-man defence that would see Aaron Wan-Bissaka discarded or converted into a centre-half.
Journalist Castles told the Transfer Window Podcast: “I think there are two obvious candidates in terms of coaches who have achieved at the top level of the game, who are out of work and would be available to Manchester United without compensation fees.
“One is Zinedine Zidane and one is Antonio Conte. Conte’s position, I’m told, is that he is interested in the Manchester United job but not without restrictions.
“Antonio Conte, when he chooses his next club, wants a club where he can win the Champions League.
“He wants to demonstrate, he’s wanted to do it for a long time, that he is one of the very best coaches in world football.
“To do that he knows he has to win the Champions League, so Manchester United are interesting because of the squad they’ve got, because of their status and because of the resource that is behind them.”
Solskjaer’s former teammate and cheerleader Peter Schmeichel is not convinced Conte is the right man, telling The Times: “You can say, ‘Conte is brilliant’. But he doesn’t stay anywhere for more than a couple of years. We are not that football club. We tried that already. It doesn’t work.
“Louis van Gaal didn’t win the Premier League, Mourinho didn’t. You say Conte or another name, it’s no difference. It’s about them and what they want to do in a small window of Manchester United’s big history. The problem Ole has is that in this world of quick fixes and fast news he has to win yesterday.”