Italy want Conte to res­cue World Cup hopes

Tehran Times - - WORLD SPORTS -

Ital­ian chiefs are plot­ting to lure An­to­nio Conte back as na­tional boss.

Conte quit after Euro 2016 to take over at Chelsea and is nearly mid­way through a three-year deal.

But Italy’s fal­ter­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion for next sum­mer’s World Cup has prompted se­nior fig­ures within their FA to launch a lob­by­ing cam­paign to get him to re­turn.

Cur­rent boss Gian Piero Ven­tura is un­der huge pres­sure hav­ing only man­aged to clinch sec­ond place in Group G be­hind Spain. And the Az­zurri face the lottery of a play-off next month to de­cide their ultimate fate.

The four-time world champs were hum­bled 3-0 by Spain and only man­aged a 1-1 home draw with Mace­do­nia in Turin on Fri­day. Last night they fin­ished their cam­paign with an unin­spir­ing 1-0 win in Al­ba­nia.

Ven­tura is un­der con­tract un­til 2020, but a poor show­ing in Rus­sia next sum­mer could bring a pre­ma­ture end to his ten­ure. Ru­mors of splits in the camp have dogged the Italy camp with keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon forced to deny a series of rifts. The dress­ing room was fiercely united un­der Conte when they only went out on penal­ties to Ger­many in the last eight of Euro 2016.

Chelsea are ea­ger to keep Conte and re­warded him with a dou­ble-your-money pay rise to around £10mil­lion a year for the re­main­ing two sea­sons of his cur­rent con­tract.

But Conte, 48, said a fort­night ago: “I have nostal­gia for Italy. Once I have had some more nice ex­pe­ri­ences I will re­turn to Italy, for sure. I don’t know when, but the goal is to do that.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iran

© PressReader. All rights reserved.