Next Man United manager odds slashed for Antonio Conte, but is he the right man for Old Trafford?

As a player and a manager Antonio Conte is a serial title winner, but would he be able to guide Manchester United back to Premier League glory?

Antonio Conte is the red-hot favourite to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager.

According to reports, Conte is willing to enter discussions and return to management for the first time since resigning as Inter Milan manager back in May.

Solskjaer has been in charge of Man United for three years now, and the calls for his head after the 5-0 debacle against Liverpool have never been louder.

You're only as good as your last season in soccer and Conte's stock could not be any higher having won a fourth Serie A title in 2020/21. 

Is the fiery Italian the right man to step into Solskjaer's shoes, if he gets the bullet?

Managerial record

Matches: 518

W: 306 D: 122 L: 90

Juventus:

M: 133 W: 90 D: 30 L: 13

Chelsea:

M: 106 W: 70 D: 15 L: 21

Inter Milan:

M: 102 W: 64 D: 23 L: 15

Clubs managed: Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta, Juventus, Italy, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Honours won

Bari: Serie B (2008/09)

Juventus: Serie A (2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14), Supercoppa Italiana (2012, 2013).

Chelsea: Premier League (2016/17), FA Cup (2017/18)

Inter Milan: Serie A (2020/21)

The Antonio Conte formation

Antonio Conte

Solskjaer doesn't appear to know his best team, formation or playing style - something which couldn't be any more opposite to Conte.

The Italian coach is renowned for his tactical obsession and it is something he tries to drill into every single one of the players during training.

This obsession with tactics gave birth to what is now dubbed as the 'Conte Formation'. A formation that was in fact relevant during his playing days, it consists of a three-man defence, with wing-backs as opposed to full-backs, and two dominating box-to-box midfielders.

During Conte's time at Juventus, where he achieved great success, it was also noticeable that several other clubs in the Serie A had started to copy his formation due to its effect on games.

When Frank Lampard's Chelsea side beat Tottenham Hotspur in a league game in 2019 while utilising a similar formation to that of Conte's, a disgruntled Jose Mourinho stated after the match that Lampard was now just a 'Conte clone'.

Domestic dominance with Juventus

Antonio Conte celebrating Juventus title win

Following a brief, initial success in his managerial career at sides including Bari and Siena, Conte was announced as the new head coach of Juventus in 2011, a club that he had already achieved legendary status with during his playing days.

Conte didn't take long to make an instant impact at his beloved club as he had transformed them into literally an unbeatable side. Juventus finished Conte's first league season in charge undefeated, the first team to do so since the Serie A had expanded.

Not only did Conte guide Juve to the title in his first season but he also guided them to their first Coppa Italia final since 2004, although they went on to lose the final, which was their only loss in domestic competitions that season.

Having helped guide Juventus back to the summit of Italian football, Conte's dominance didn't stop there as he guided the Old Lady to consecutive Serie A titles in his second season.

In Conte's third season in charge Juventus broke records once again as he clinched yet another Serie A title for the third season in a row, and by doing so broke the record for most points in the league, finishing on 102 points.

This wasn't just an Italian record, it was also the highest points tally across the top 10 leagues in Europe. On top of that, Juventus had recorded a perfect home record during the season with 19 wins from 19 games.

Chelsea heroics

Antonio Conte lifting the Premier League

Conte was appointed as the new head coach of Chelsea in the summer of 2016 following a spell as the head coach of Italy.

After a dismal season prior to Conte's arrival, the Italian coach was brought in to try and rejuvenate a side that had been performing well below par and take them back to the top of the Premier League.

Conte got off to a flying start with his new club, with a switch in formation back to his preferred 3-4-3 helping Chelsea go on an impressive 13-match winning run, breaking their own club record and equalling the league record in the process.

During that time Conte also became the first ever Premier League manager to win three consecutive Manager of the Month awards. Quite some achievement for his first few months in charge.

It hadn't taken Conte long to transform Chelsea back into a formidable side and that was shown through Chelsea's dominance in the league that season, winning the Premier League with two games to spare.

In the process of winning the league, Conte had managed to set a new Premier League record for the most wins in a single season, with 30 wins from 38 games.

Conte would also go on to secure another trophy the following season with the club after they beat long standing rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Chelsea downfall

Things were not quite as they seemed for Conte at Chelsea however, as behind the scenes there was trouble brewing.

Despite winning the FA Cup in Conte's second season at the club, Chelsea had underperformed in their attempted retention of the Premier League, finishing in fifth place and out of the Champions League spots.

This was in large part down to the training ground fall-outs with certain players, and the surprise handling and exclusion from the squad of star striker, Diego Costa.

Conte and Costa had endured numerous clashes whilst at the club, including one surrounding the match fitness of the striker which reportedly ended in Conte telling Costa to join a team in China instead.

This clash of personalities only went from bad to worse with Conte allegedly sending a text message to Costa stating that he was no longer part of his plans for the club.

Costa was therefore ordered to train with the reserves whilst Conte would find his successor in the transfer market, but Costa refused and instead remained on holiday in Brazil whilst forcing a move back to his previous club, Atletico Madrid.

Conte's relationship with the Chelsea squad was never quite the same due to this fall-out with a popular team member. One of Costa's closest teammates, Willian, appeared to block out Conte on a picture of their FA Cup celebrations which he uploaded onto Instagram.

Therefore, it was apparent to Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, that Conte wasn't quite the perfect fit for his club after all and subsequently fired the Italian after two years at the club.

The sacking of Conte reportedly cost Chelsea a whopping £26.6million in fees to Conte and his legal team following a legal battle in which Conte was adjudged to have been unfairly dismissed.

After a dream start to life at Chelsea, it certainly ended on a sour note for the Italian.

Another league title in Italy with Inter Milan

Inter Milan manager, Antonio Conte

Conte returned to his home country when he was appointed as the new head coach of Inter Milan for the 2019/20 season.

The former Juve boss was brought in to try and stop his former club's dominance in the Italian league. Juventus had won eight consecutive league titles and it was down to Conte to put an end to what he had started.

Inter hadn't won the league for 10 years, although they almost managed it Conte's first season at the club, finishing in second place to Juventus yet again. Conte had also taken Inter to the Europa League final, which they narrowly lost to Spanish side Sevilla.

Bouncing back in emphatic fashion, Conte's Inter side would go on to dominate the league for most parts of the 2020/21 season as they finally looked like real title contenders.

With still four games left of the season to go, Inter were crowned Serie A champions for the first time in 11 years.

Conte had achieved the almost unthinkable and knocked his former club off top spot, putting an end to their dominance and preventing Juventus from winning a tenth league title on the bounce.

It had taken Conte only two years to form a squad capable of becoming Italian Champions once again, which he later stated as being 'one of the most important successes' of his career.

However, following the conclusion of the season, and with debts mounting at the San Siro club, Conte opted to move on again and seek another fresh challenge.

Is Conte the right man for Man United?

Antonio Conte celebrates with the Inter Milan team

Man United wanted the new Alex Ferguson in David Moyes but sacked him towards the end of his first season with the club sitting in seventh.

They then went for the superstar names in Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho and while both delivered trophies, they also got sacked. We're now expecting Ole to be shown the door as well, but if they do what is United's plan?

Man United have spent an eye-watering amount of money on signings and wages, including the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.

They want success and they want it now. Conte may cause division and rifts but the chances of success with him at the helm are greatly increased. He's done it before...then again so had Mourinho.

Read more: Where next for Zinedine Zidane? Manchester United, France, and Newcastle all in the mix

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