Having signed for Inter as their controversial head coach in 2019, Antonio Conte, a former Juventus captain and coach, brought a lot of demands with him. The former Chelsea coach arrived at the Giuseppe Meazza with a significant list of demands. Chief among those demands was a major renovation of the Inter squad, and this led to key signings such as Romelu Lukaku. However, despite being backed to the hilt in his first season, the season ended with a disappointing league campaign – finishing second – and a loss in the UEFA Europa League Final.
However, this season, Inter have been much better. Though they crashed out of Europe in disappointing fashion, they impressed massively in the league. At the time of writing, the Nerazzurri hold a nine-point lead, and the teams behind them make a habit of lacking consistency. As such, they hold a clear advantage that should see them win their first Scudetto title since Jose Mourinho was the coach in 2011. This marks a major revival, then, for the club – but coach Conte has already made clear he won’t commit without clear guarantees.
With the ownership situation at the club leaving Inter unable to spend as intended, thanks to Chinese government decrees to companies like owner Suning, Inter might not be able to build on their present success. This could be problematic for Inter, leaving the Italian giants with a difficult decision to make regarding squad development.
Talk of loans and other investment to help see the club through a tough spot until Suning can invest again has been commonplace. However, there are some concerns that Conte might not stick around if he cannot be promised the perpetual improvement that the high-intensity coach so clearly demands.
Will Inter need a new coach?
The talk of Conte leaving immediately is a challenging one. Given his incredible form – and the way he has transformed Lukaku into arguably the best player in the country – it is hard to see Inter giving up. They have invested hugely in Conte and built a team in his own image – to give up now as he builds Inter into a genuine success again would be a strange decision.
However, his comments after the 1-1 draw with Spezia were targeted at the ownership, as he said: “Do I see myself at Inter for a long time? Today we can only affect the present. We know that the club’s programs have changed for many reasons. At the end of the season we will have to clarify, this is inevitable. And the fans deserve it. If there is a clear project? Then yes”.
That shows a coach who is willing to make concessions, but only if there is the ability for things to progress. Talk of major sales in the face of lacking investment would likely see Inter back to square one. As such, there is a major uncertainty about what happens next for the likely league winners. In a period that should be celebrated wildly, this could see Inter lose momentum in their bid to return to the top of the Italian game consistently.