Antonio Conte "wanted the Manchester United job" and was 'waiting for them to call' before he decided to join Tottenham.
The fiery Italian was installed as the new Spurs boss after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked at the start of November, ironically following a defeat to United.
Conte was strongly linked with the manager's job at Old Trafford amid reports the Red Devils were considering parting ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following their 5-0 defeat by Liverpool.
The Norwegian was able to ride out the storm thanks to the subsequent 3-0 win over Tottenham – a result that ended Nuno's tenure after just 17 games in charge.
Conte would end up replacing the Portuguese in north London, but it's been suggested he "wanted the Manchester United job" and was waiting to be asked to take over.
That is according to respected football journalist Fabrizio Romano, who also added that when the call "never came", Conte decided to "join Spurs instead."
Italian journalist Roberto Gotta offered a similar view. He told Tuttomercatoweb: "I understand that there was a wait until the last moment; Manchester United have a better squad and more decisive players.
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"However, Manchester United have never publicly lacked confidence in Solskjaer. Conte in Manchester should have won immediately, while in Tottenham, he should have prepared the team for next season."
Conte got off to a winning start in his first game as Tottenham manager as his new side eked out a 3-2 win over Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.
That was followed by a 0-0 draw with Everton just before the international break.
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After the win over Vitesse, Conte said: "We need to have a bit of patience because we need to work on many aspects – tactically and physically. I'm not afraid about the work. I know only through the work you can reach important targets."
Solskjaer, meanwhile, limped on as United manager but suffered another devastating blow with a 2-0 home loss to Manchester City.
He remains the favourite to be the next Premier League manager sacked.
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