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Antonio Conte

Tottenham director Fabio Paratici opens up on Conte’s exit, plays down search for replacement

Tottenham director Fabio Paratici opens up on Conte’s exit

Tottenham Hotspur managing director Fabio Paratici believes parting ways with Antonio Conte following a ‘difficult season’ was in the best interest of all parties involved.

Conte was officially shown the door seven days after his explosive remarks about the club and players following a six-goal stalemate against relegation-threatened Southampton.

The former Chelsea manager had Spurs challenging for a spot in the top four, but his task will now shift onto assistant manager Cristian Stellini who will handle the role until the end of the season.

Speaking for the first time since Conte’s departure, Paratici, who worked closely with the Italian head coach during their time together at Juventus, endorsed the club’s decision to relieve the 53-year-old of his duties.

“We know how difficult this season was for him personally,” Paratici said in an interview via the club’s official website. “Gian Piero (Ventrone) died and (Gianluca) Vialli and then his surgery. 

“The club supported him a lot with it, and everyone is close to each other, but then we arrived at this mutual agreement, and I think the decision that we made was the right decision for everyone.”

Stellini stood in for Conte when he was hospitalised following a gallbladder surgery and was impressive enough to earn the trust of the club hierarchy to hold down the fort amid the search for a permanent successor to the former Inter Milan boss.

Stellini will collaborate with former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason to ensure the club retains their place in the top four, and Paratici has backed them both to deliver the goods.

“Cristian managed the team even when Antonio was sick this season and was good,” the Spurs director continued. 

“He has a lot of experience as a second, and he was even first coach in the past – we even have Ryan Mason who can help him a lot. 

“He has been a part of this Club for a long time, so I think we are really confident that these two people can do a very good job.”

The search for Conte’s successor is ongoing, with several candidates, including former manager Mauricio Pochettino already lined up.

Tottenham are also reportedly eyeing an audacious move for former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

But Paratici has played down reports of a managerial search, insisting the club’s attention is on finishing the season strongly.

“We have to be focused on the last part of the season,” Paratici said. “We do not speak about other coaches or follow the speculation in the media because it is just speculation. 

“We are focused – we are now concentrating on helping Cristian and the staff, Ryan, and the players because it is an important moment.”

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