Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson has already given Antonio Conte a glowing endorsement as speculation that the Italian could replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intensifies
Solskjaer appeared to be on the cusp of losing his job following Sunday’s horrific 5-0 thrashing against Liverpool, with reports emerging that United had made initial contact with Conte on Monday evening.
Despite his brief reprieve, the Norwegian is in desperate need of a positive result with Conte’s presence still looming in the background.
The Italian boss has already proved his credentials for success after guiding Chelsea to the title in the 2016/17 campaign.
And with the noise surrounding his potential arrival at Old Trafford growing louder, it’s worth remembering that Conte’s impressive work at Stamford Bridge has already been endorsed by United’s greatest ever manager, Ferguson.
AFP via Getty Images)
“Fantastic, you see his energy on the pitch,” Ferguson told Sky Sports back in 2017. “There’s a true saying that the team mirrors the manager, and that’s what they’ve done with him.
“His team have stayed top of the league for so long. They lost to Arsenal and Liverpool early on, but since then they’ve been up.”
Ferguson’s previous endorsement could be key to Conte emerging as United’s preferential choice should the axe fall on Solskjaer in the coming weeks.
The iconic Scot still wields an incredible amount of influence at Old Trafford following his history-making reign at the club.
Despite his support for Solskjaer, a player he managed during the Norwegian’s exemplary stint at Old Trafford, Ferguson was unable to hide his pain after watching United’s humiliating defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals.
With concerns growing at Old Trafford around Solskjaer’s capacity to keep up with tactical rivals such as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in the race for the Premier League, Conte would fit the bill as someone capable of jousting with the very best coaches that England has to offer.
The Italian guided Inter Milan to Serie A glory last year, further enhancing his winning reputation that was forged during spells as both a player and manager at Juventus long before his arrival at Stamford Bridge back in 2016.
Conte’s remarkable win rate of over 65% saw him transform the Blues into a well-drilled, ruthlessly efficient side as the Italian elevated them back to the summit of the Premier League after a difficult spell. Taking that into account, on paper, Conte certainly looks as though he could prove to be the perfect tonic for United’s current woes.
However, there would be caveats for United if they were to plunge for the Italian, who made it clear earlier this year that he won’t commit to a project unless he is fully convinced on it – something that Tottenham discovered this past summer when they tried to lure him back to London.
Getty Images Europe)
“If my problem or my obsession was money, I would have stayed where I was in the past,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport back in June.
“I would have accepted compromises and perhaps earned contract renewals. Instead I look at the projects and I am willing to stay at home if they do not convince me.
“It is a question of vision, professionalism, intellectual honesty and principles that cannot be ignored.”