Ex-Man United star reveals it ‘hurts’ that ‘genius’ ended up at Tottenham instead

Daniel Levy
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Patrice Evra has admitted he has been left hurt by Manchester United’s failure to appoint Antonio Conte as manager after seeing his impressive work at Tottenham so far. 

Conte has overseen a big turnaround in North London since he was hired in November after the dismissal of Nuno Espirito Santo. 

The 52-year-old rallied Spurs to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League last season to secure them a spot in next term’s Champions League. 

But Conte could have been conducting his role elsewhere – namely United – who were said to be keeping tabs on his situation amidst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s precarious position (The Guardian).

United opted to back their Norwegian coach ahead of appointing Conte, with those at the club unconvinced the Italian would be the right type of profile (ESPN).

While Spurs swooped in to secure their man, the Old Trafford-based side eventually parted ways with Solskjaer and turned to interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who could only inspire the club to sixth place. 

And United’s decision has left former defender Evra, who played under Conte at Juventus, still feeling a sense of disappointment at what could have been. 

He told the Mirror: “It hurts my heart. Because I think Conte, Klopp, Guardiola – all those managers are the best in the world right now and we could have had him at Manchester United.

“But some people at the club, they said: ‘It’s not our style, it’s not what we’re looking for.’

“So let’s see, now we have Erik ten Hag. Let’s see what he’s going to do. He has my support. But then, even if you brought a chef in, as the manager of Man United, he’d have my full support.”

“It is a massive disappointment because he could have done something at Man Utd. And you can see with Tottenham, he helped them to qualify for the Champions League spot.

“They have the same players, so that’s why this manager is a genius. When I arrived at Juventus, every player told me: ‘Patrice, this guy is a genius’.

“He’s addicted, he’s so passionate about football. So you’re going to run really hard. He’s going to make you sweat.

“But if you look at the Tottenham fans, they are so happy because when they see the players now, win or they lose, they give everything. That’s the mentality of Antonio Conte.

“That’s why I say it hurts. Not because it’s Tottenham – I love every team – but it’s just because Conte could have done something.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

United’s decision not to appoint Conte has been Tottenham’s gain and they will certainly be happy with that given the last few months. Spurs look to be building under Conte while United will be trying to catch up with a new manager of their own in Ten Hag. 

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