'Conte too smart to take Milan job' - Ex-Inter chairman Moratti doubts Chelsea exit

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Antonio Conte
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The former Nerazzurri supremo has taken a sly dig at his old rivals, while also comparing current Inter boss Luciano Spalletti to Jose Mourinho

Antonio Conte is a “smart guy” and would not walk away from Chelsea to take the AC Milan reins, says Massimo Moratti.

Having previously admitted that he intends to head home at some stage, the Blues’ Italian boss is now being linked with every high-profile post which becomes available.

Conte was previously touted for a second spell in charge of the Italy national side, following their failure to reach the 2018 World Cup, while the departure of Vincenzo Montella in Milan has seen his name thrown into the hat at the San Siro.

Former Inter chairman Moratti is not convinced a move will be made, though, with a man who tasted Premier League title success in 2016-17 a better fit for the Nerazzurri than the Rossoneri.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport on Conte: “He is a great manager, the only difference with [Luciano] Spalletti is that Spalletti has yet to win a Serie A title, Conte has already won league titles in Italy and in England.

“If he’d joined Inter and failed it would have been Inter’s fault.

“A move to AC Milan? No, I don’t think so, he is a smart guy.”

While taking a sly dig at Inter’s arch-rivals and the struggles they are currently enduring, Moratti has taken great pleasure in talking up his former employers.

Luciano Spalletti Inter

Inter sit top of the Serie A table at present, with Spalletti’s arrival as manager over the summer considered to have been the catalyst for a title tilt.

Moratti considers the former Roma and Zenit boss to be among the best in the business and a man capable of emulating the success enjoyed at Inter by former treble winner Jose Mourinho.

“I’d never give him advice,” Moratti said of Spalletti. “I’ve explained to him the mentality of an interista fan, but he already knew it.

“I also wanted to hire him but I never managed to in the past. We were very close after the treble but he chose Zenit instead.

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“He can read the players' mind just like Mourinho. Players like Ranocchia, Santon and Brozovic are reborn.”

Spalletti has also been able to bring the best out of Ivan Perisic, with the Croatian winger having been talked out of a possible summer move to Manchester United to commit to fresh terms in Italy.

“He is so strong, he has strength and quality,” added Moratti.

“I don’t see better wingers in Europe right now but he needs to have consistency. Spalletti was very important for him because he blocked his exit last summer.”