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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte stays in Italy as squad flies home

The Lilywhites coach did not travel with his team

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has remained in Italy, even as his squad has flown home following their 1-0 defeat to AC Milan at San Siro on Tuesday.

The Italian recently underwent gallbladder surgery, watching their 1-0 win over Manchester City from home, but was on the sidelines for the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City and also the narrow loss to the Italian champions in the Champions League last 16.

However, a club statement from Tottenham announced that ‘following a routine post-operation check in Italy yesterday, Antonio Conte will remain at his family home to recover from his recent surgery’, leaving assistant coach Cristian Stellini to assume First Team duties.

There is no timeframe placed on the Italian’s return, meaning that it is possible that Stellini could once more be on the touchline for their next Premier League clash, when they host London rivals West Ham on Sunday.

The Italian has come under fire in recent weeks for his tactics and his side’s performances, and continues to baffle in press conferences, claiming earlier this week that ‘Italy is always my first love’ amid speculation that he is keen for a return to the Mediterranean shores this summer.

“After Chelsea, this [Tottenham] is my second chapter in Premier League. The atmosphere at stadium is amazing, I love it — it’s so easy to fall in love with English football”, he explained.

On the pitch, Tottenham need to pick up three points against the Hammers to stay within touching distance of a place in the top four. At present, they sit two points behind Newcastle, but have played a game more than the Magpies.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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