Antonio Conte will stay as Chelsea manager amid links to Inter because the challenge of taking them back into the Champions League is too good to resist, according to Marcello Lippi.
Lippi, who like Conte formerly managed Juventus and Italy, does not believe the prospect of taking the Inter job would appeal to the Stamford Bridge boss at this early stage of his career in England.
Despite the 47-year-old’s continued denials, speculation still links him with a move to San Siro, while Diego Simeone is another rumoured candidate to replace Stefano Pioli as the Serie A club’s Chinese owners Suning target a big name.
But Lippi, who coached Conte at Juve in his playing days, is not buying reports that that he could be tempted to leave Chelsea, even with a five-year contract worth £50million reportedly on the table from Inter.
Chelsea, winners of Europe’s elite club competition in 2012, missed out on a place this time around after last season’s mid-table finish, but Conte has set them on course for a return as the Blues sit top of the Premier League.
“We are talking about him because he is one of the best in the world, but he seems happy in London to me,” Lippi told Mediaset Premium.
“He wants to take the Blues into the Champions League next year, so I don’t think he will change bench.”
Lippi feels the takeovers of Inter and city rivals AC Milan over the past year were steps that had to be taken to make the two clubs competitive again.
“These are two handovers which represent love for the team by Massimo Moratti and Silvio Berlusconi,” added the China boss.
“These are clubs which can no longer be managed by families, it takes big entrepreneurial groups and currently those are Arabic, Chinese and Russian.”
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