Antonio Conte suggested that he may not remain as manager of Internazionale after their Europa League final defeat to Sevilla in Cologne on Friday night ended his first season at the club on a sour note.
An overhead kick by Diego Carlos in the closing stages which deflected in off Romelu Lukaku consigned Conte’s side to a 3-2 defeat at the RheinEnergieStadion in a thrilling final and extended Inter’s nine-year wait for a trophy.
Conte’s future at the Giuseppe Meazza came into question earlier this month after the disappointment of finishing as runners-up behind Juventus in Serie A exacerbated long standing tensions between Inter’s head coach and the board.
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Despite suggestions that those issues were resolved and Conte’s happier demeanour in the days leading up to Friday’s final, the former Chelsea manager offered no assurances that he would remain in place for the forthcoming season.
“Now we have to get back to Milan, we will take two or three days off, then with cool heads we will meet,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“It’s only right that we analyse the entire season, look at everything in a very calm way, and try to plan the future of Inter, whether it’s with or without me.”
“We worked hard, it was a very tough season in many ways, so it’s only right to take a little rest, face the situations and make the decision that is best for Inter.
“There is absolutely no bitterness. There might be different views on things, but we’ll evaluate everything.”
In what sounded like a valedictory speech, Conte said: “It has been difficult and we’ll figure things out. It has been wonderful for me to be the coach of Inter, I thank the owners who allowed me to go through this great experience.
“If I can say one thing: it was worth it and I will always thank those who gave me the opportunity to have this experience.”
Conte was vague when asked to expand on the reasoning behind his words, though hinted at off-the-pitch difficulties in his private life.
“Something happened, there’s no point beating around the bush. We have to see whether everyone is prepared to not have another year like this for what happened with me,” he said.
“There are a few situations I will evaluate, it’s only right the president evaluates it too. I’ll tell the directors my views. I will always be thankful to those who gave me the chance to experience this adventure.
“Beppe Marotta, Piero Ausilio, they were all convinced I should come here and I will always thank them. It was a very tough year, there are limits to everything and if situations involve my private life, that is no longer acceptable.
“I have a family and I have to understand if football is the priority or my family. Because if some situations end up affecting my family, that is no longer enough for me. Everything has its limits, I have to see where my limits are.”