Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte’s return to the touchline has been delayed once again, according to recent reports. The Italian manager is not expected to be back for the upcoming match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, and it seems increasingly likely that he will leave Spurs at the end of the season.
Conte has been recuperating in Italy following emergency gallbladder surgery last month, and his assistant coach, Cristian Stellini, has been leading the team in his absence. It was originally anticipated that Conte would make his comeback at Molineux, but that no longer appears to be the case.
According to The Mail, the 53-year-old will once again be absent from the Premier League clash. Instead, he looks set to return after that to prepare for the Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against AC Milan.
However, the report also suggests that there is a growing feeling that Conte will leave Tottenham at the end of the season. His contract is set to expire, and there have been no talks over a renewal since the World Cup.
Conte’s illness, coupled with a disappointing season on the pitch, has added to the speculation that there will be a separation between the manager and the club at the end of the season. Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Sheffield United in midweek, effectively ending their chances of winning silverware this season.
While Tottenham have the option to extend Conte’s contract by another year, The Mail reports that this is looking unlikely at present. Furthermore, his family still lives in Turin, and Italian clubs are expected to show a lot of interest in him if he becomes available.
The delay to Conte’s return to the dugout is another indication that he is likely to depart from Spurs at the end of the season. For now, Stellini will continue to lead the team in his absence.