MILAN (Reuters) – Former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has ruled out an immediate move to AS Roma where he was considered the favourite to replace Claudio Ranieri at the end of the season.
“Today, the conditions are not there,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview although he did not rule out coaching the club at some point in the future.
“I need to have the perception that I can beat anyone,” said Conte, who has not coached since being fired by Chelsea 10 months ago. “I need to feel that winning is possible. Otherwise, I will happily stay where I am.”
Ranieri took over at Roma in March after Eusebio Di Francesco was fired and was given the job until the end of this season.
Conte, who won three successive Serie A titles with Juventus and the English Premier League in his first season with Chelsea, added that he had nothing against the city itself.
“I fell in love with Rome when I frequented it during my two years as national team coach,” he said. “At the (Stadio) Olimpico, I feel the passion of the public who live their football with a special intensity.”
Gazzetta said that Conte’s comments increased the chances that he could either return to Juventus or join AC Milan or Inter Milan after the end of the season.
“I have a problem: winning,” he said. “It is the goal of my work. The way there involves work, sacrifice, a unity of purpose, of thinking about us and not about me. I don’t know any other way.”
(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)