Antonio Conte has been advised to remain at Juventus.
The 43-year-old has been in charge of the Bianconeri since the summer of 2011, and led them to their first Scudetto since 2003 in his first season. Conte’s side hold a nine-point lead over Napoli in the race for the title this term, whilst they face Bayern Munich in a mouth-watering quarter-final in the UEFA Champions League, a trophy they have not won since 1996.
It is no surprise that the former Italy international, who won 20 caps for his country, has seen his stock rise since returning to the Turin club, where he spent the bulk of his playing career. Chelsea and Real Madrid, for instance, are both expected to be in the market for new coaches in the summer, and have been linked with making an approach for his services.
Rafael Benitez looks certain to be shown the exit door at Stamford Bridge when his interim spell comes to an end in the summer, regardless of how far he leads the team in the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League. The Spaniard was an unpopular choice amongst fans of the London club, and not even winning two trophies and securing a top-four finish will save him.
Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, has been tipped to leave Real at the end of the season, even if he leads them to Champions League glory. The Portuguese coach is said to be interested in a return to England, and this would leave his current position at the Bernabeu vacant; one the Spanish giants are thought to have earmarked Conte for.
Current Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni, though, believes the Juve coach would be wise to ignore speculation linking him with the Blues, Los Blancos or any other club. Instead, the 74-year-old has advised his compatriot to remain in Serie A and lead his current side to more glory.
“He has a strong side with a great collective and a clear and effective style of football. Antonio’s work is excellent and he should continue with this team,” he told Eurosport. “Many years ago I was a young coach achieving success and I had someone whispering in my ear that I should change country, even if at that time it was unusual.
“When I told a friend that I was going to Bayern Munich, he said I should watch out, as the more forests you travel in, the more wolves you find. He was right. Going abroad is a great unknown and before taking that step you need to have a lot of experience in Italy. I thought long and hard before leaving Serie A, so I suggest Conte do the same.”
Trapattoni had two spells in charge of Juventus, from 1976 to 1986 and then from 1991 to 1994, winning a European Cup, two Uefa Cups, a European Cup-Winners Cup, six league titles and two Italian Cups. He left his homeland for Germany in 1994, and whilst his first spell at Bayern lasted just one season, he returned in 1996 and guided them to Bundesliga glory.