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Editorial: Is Antonio Conte worth €12 million per year?

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Apparently, Inter Milan seems to think so.

Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final
Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea celebrates with the Emirates FA Cup Trophy following his sides victory in The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

If they want to secure former Chelsea and Italy national team coach Antonio Conte as their next manager, Inter Milan will have to pony up.

Back the Brink’s truck up. Rob a bank. However you want to characterize it.

Several reports suggest Conte is looking for around €12 million per year on at least a three-year deal to be a manager next year.

It has been suggested that both Inter and CEO Beppe Marotta have already said they will pay Conte €10 million to replace Luciano Spalletti at the end of the season.

FC Internazionale v Atalanta BC - Serie A
FC Internazionale coach Luciano Spalletti reacts during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Atalanta BC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 7, 2019 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

That wage would pale Spalletti’s current salary of around €4 million per season and nearly double what Conte made at Chelsea.

But, it’s not outside the realm of possibility, even for Suning Group.

Fabio Capello was paid nearly that much per season when he was the manager of Jiangsu Suning, Suning Group’s Chinese Super League club.

Andre Villas-Boas earned more than that as the manager of Shanghai SIPG and even current Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti earned more than what Conte is asking for when he was manager of Bayern Munich.

Jose Mourinho – the other name linked to Inter’s possible managerial opening at the end of the season, earned nearly €18 million per year from Manchester United before he was sacked late last year.

However, in Italy, Conte’s demand would put him far and above the highest paid manager in Serie A.

Juventus’ Max Allegri earns the most in the league (€7.5 million) while Ancelotti took a pretty big pay cut after leaving Bayern. He still makes €6.5 million per season. After Spalletti and his €4.5 million, no other current manager makes more than €2 million per season.

The question is whether Conte is worth that kind of money?

Well, his record as a manager is 242-100-75, which is nothing to scoff at. While with Chelsea, Conte won the FA Cup – in fact, he was sacked after beating Manchester United 1-0 in the finals in May 1018 – and he won the Premier League title the season before.

In his three seasons in charge of Juventus, Conte led the Old Lady to three Scudettos and one Super Cup title. He also helped lead AS Bari to promotion to Serie A in the 2008-09 season.

So, Conte does have a very good track record of producing results. However, it has to be noted that he was given the players to make that happen. That means Suning Group and Inter will have to decide if this is a long-term investment that includes not only the manager’s salary but an increase in spending in the transfer market.

Quite honestly, attaining those kinds of results with the current Inter Milan roster is not likely feasible.

Italian Football Federation ‘Panchina D’Oro’ Prize
Antonio Conte looks on at Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano on November 12, 2018 in Florence, Italy.
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

And that is the second part of Conte’s request if he were to become a manager in Italy – a commitment to future investment. Penny-pinching and corner-cutting deals won’t make that happen.

In a sense, if he were to come to Inter, there would be a huge transformation, not just in naming a new manager, but how it conducts business. Instead of looking for players strictly on free transfer or with minimal transfer fee risk, the Nerazzurri would have to see their transfer spending reach €100 million, at least once.

Inter would have to become more aggressive in the market, not necessarily for big names, but for players that fit the system.

Poll

Do you think Inter should pay for Antonio Conte to be the next manager?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Heck yeah! He’d be great. Just what we need.
    (42 votes)
  • 30%
    That’s a lot of money. I’d have to think about that for a while.
    (30 votes)
  • 27%
    Absolutely not! There is no way they should pay that much for a manager.
    (27 votes)
99 votes total Vote Now

It is important to note that Juventus could also be in the mix for Conte as Allegri has yet to decide what his future holds in Turin. If Allegri leaves, it could tempt Conte to return to a club he knows will open the purse and give him what he wants.

I think it is a risk to fork over €10-€12 million per season for Conte, but if the club is willing to look at this as a long-term strategy that brings the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Champions League success to the club and are also willing to make that kind of investment commitment, then why not?


What do you think? Post your comments below!