After guiding Inter to their first Serie A championship in 11 years, Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta is hopeful Antonio Conte can remain at San Siro.
Inter were crowned Italian champions for the first time since Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning side in 2009-10 after Atalanta drew 1-1 with Sassuolo on Sunday. It also ended Juventus’ nine-year string of Scudetti, three of which were claimed by Conte when he was in charge of the Bianconeri from 2011 to 2014.
With four games left, Inter – 13 points ahead at the summit – have tied their totals for points (82) and clean sheets (14) from last season, when they ended a point behind Juventus.
Conte’s future, though, is unclear due to worries about Inter’s financial situation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as owners of Suning Holding Group allegedly consider selling the team.
“Conte’s priority, like ours, is to love the moment,” Marotta, who collaborated with Conte at Juve, told Rai. Inter wanted such a happy moment; now is the time to celebrate what has been accomplished.
“In due course, it is appropriate to see each other, but this is something that all clubs do at the end of the season. This is the start of a new season, and in the face of an unprecedented circumstance, such as the pandemic, which has resulted in significant economic loss, cautious assessments are expected. This leads to collaboration in all aspects of the club. Conte is happy at Inter and I hope he will stay.”
Conte won his fourth Serie A championship this season, joining only five other managers in league history to do so.
The former Italian manager joins Giovanni Trapattoni as the first coach in Serie A history to win the Scudetto for both Inter and Juventus.
“When I arrived, there was a consistent and transparent difference between Inter and Juventus,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia. The fact that we won the Scudetto with four rounds to spare can not be interpreted as a reflection of our opponents’ mistakes, but rather as a testament to the credit given to Inter.
“We should score 94 points, which would be a very respectable total. Conte earns a lot of praise for bringing valuable sports qualities from his winning experience as a player and coach and passing them over to these guys. But for Arturo Vidal, none of them had previously won a title.
“This accomplishment is the product of a fantastic leader like Conte.”
Marotta continued: “My theory is that it is best to invest in a fantastic coach rather than one less player. The trophy cabinet and his CV represent the salary he is on. I suggested Conte to Inter because I thought he was the best guy for the job at the right time. We had already won three Serie A titles together at Juventus, so we were well acquainted. That meant I was well aware that some of his media comments were intended to inspire the club and propel us further. He needed to go faster, and we were a little slower, so he was driving us to do something important together. I much prefer someone like Conte who tells something to your face to those who refuse to tell you the truth.”