The search for a new Napoli manager took an interesting turn on Monday, with Sky Italia dropping a sensational report that the partenopei are considering bringing in none other than Antonio Conte to manage the club.
The former Juventus manager, who won Serie A three times in a row while in charge there, is currently the boss of the Italian national team. While his time in charge there has rarely been smooth -- at times fighting with the clubs and FIGC over how he can work with his players -- Conte does seem determined to pull Italy back up to the competitive heights they once achieved.
While normally taking a club job would mean Conte would have to leave his Italy post, the Sky report indicates that Aurelio De Laurentiis is more than willing to work things out so he can work both roles. While managers serving as both the head coach for a club and country used to be more common, the jobs have become so intense and specialized in more recent years that few have tried to balance the two workloads, and almost all who have tried it failed at one job or the other.
That history apparently has left Conte hesitant about the idea of such an offer, and the report indicates that the FIGC isn't a fan of it either. It seems like Conte would be a very unlikely option for Napoli considering those hurdles to overcome, as well as the probable fan backlash for having a former Juventus manager in charge of the club. If you look past that, though, it'd be hard not to like the idea of a manager with his history of success.
Conte certainly has his lumps, but he's very good at finding ways to win despite them. The idea of becoming a more attractive target for Italy's best international talent isn't a bad one either, and having Italy's manager would likely also help Napoli recruit top youth talents as well, helping secure the club's future as well as the present.
For all that, though, this is still fairly unlikely. Fun to think about, and not entirely out of the realm of possibility, but unlikely all the same.