Antonio Conte's Sudden Exit Hints at Juventus Transfer Trouble

Jerrad Peters@@jerradpetersWorld Football Staff WriterJuly 15, 2014

Associated Press

Antonio Conte may yet become the new Italy manager, but despite his sudden exit from Serie A champions Juventus on Tuesday, it’s unlikely he had planned such a move in the weeks, or even days, before making his decision.

It was a choice made public in a video posted to the club’s official website.

In his remarks, as per Goal, Conte admitted he had terminated his contract of his own accord and hinted at the reasons behind the resignation, which seemed to blindside his former employers.

“I have matured with time and my feelings led me to make this choice,” he said, adding, “It may be more difficult to keep winning with Juventus.”

In the three years since his arrival in Turin, Conte had seen the club’s transfer outlays dip from nearly €90 million in the summer of 2011 to a small, positive balance following player sales in 2013.

As of Tuesday, Juventus had yet to make a meaningful foray into the current transfer market, and it’s possible that the 44-year-old’s frustration simply reached a boiling point early this week.

Conte won three Italian titles in three seasons with Juventus.
Conte won three Italian titles in three seasons with Juventus.Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Given that pre-season training had begun on Monday, and with a one-year contract extension agreed less than two months ago, it’s unlikely that Conte came into the summer expecting to quit his post before the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

Granted, the Italy vacancy may have had something to do with the timing of his decision, but despite his irritation with club spending there’s nothing to suggest he hadn’t fully intended to remain at Juventus for at least another year.

Of course, certain circumstances may have expedited his exit.

Manchester United’s pursuit of midfielder Arturo Vidal was always going to be unsettling, and perhaps if the player insinuated a desire to leave the Bianconeri, Conte would have resigned out of protest.

He may also have had a transfer list of his own, and failing to secure the backing from club officials he may have seen his position as untenable.

But all of this is speculation. What we do know is that Conte’s decision was made quickly, and that the Italy job was likely nothing more than happy coincidence, should he take it.

“What will I do?” he asked rhetorically in his video message, according to Goal. “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”