Pep Guardiola welcomes Antonio Conte back to Premier League


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hailed Spurs’ new head coach Antonio Conte as an “absolutely outstanding coach”, and has welcomed him back to the Premier League.

Conte left England in the summer of 2018 after two years at Chelsea. During his first year at Stamford Bridge, he took Guardiola City to the Premier League title, before the Catalan team became the first team in English top-class history to break the 100-point barrier next season.

After leaving Chelsea, Conte took a year off from the game before joining Inter 2019, winning Serie A last season before a high-profile summer departure.

Conte was contacted by Spurs this summer but explained that he was still too dependent on his departure from Inter to join at that time. But he has now signed a contract that runs until 2023 after the club fired Nuno Espirito Santo.

Guardiola was full of praise and admiration for the Italian at a press conference on Tuesday.

“First of all, welcome back to England, to the Premier League,” said Guardiola.

“His career speaks for itself. He has had success everywhere. An absolutely outstanding manager.”

Former Spurs defender Kyle Walker joined Guardiola for his pre-match press before City’s Champions League match with Club Brugge, and was also a complement to Tottenham’s new head coach.

“I think Conte is a fantastic manager, obviously. Hopefully it will be a successful appointment for them,” Walker added.

“Of course it has been a couple of tough years with managers coming and going. I wish him and the club all the best.”

Guardiola’s City are one of only a handful of teams to have lost to Tottenham so far this season. They were beaten in Nuno’s first match as head of Spurs and lost 1-0 in north London thanks to a Son Heung-min attack.

City were also looking for Tottenham striker Harry Kane during the summer, but failed to reach an agreement across the border and the England captain remained at Spurs.

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