He is a man without feelings, one who has a proven track record of jumping ship at the first sign of trouble, but is also the finest Italian coach in the world today.
Those hoping for passion and undying loyalty from him should brace for a shock, because Conte is only fond of success and not the club he coaches.
Tottenham have opened talks with Antonio Conte (above) over becoming their new manager
He is undeniably crazy, as demonstrated by his relentless displays in his technical area and barked orders at his team.
Conte’s career shows off his unpredictability, with relationships with the board and results often sending him over the edge. He divides and rarely unites, but his charismatic nature and professionalism will endear him to Spurs supporters.
One of his strengths is creating a team who would run through walls for him and Inter Milan’s title triumph last season is a testament to that.
Conte (centre) won the Serie A title with Inter Milan but had left the club due to disagreements
Conte is the polar opposite to the deeply passionate former Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino
But after winning trophies and celebrating wildly, Conte often finds himself dragged into arguments, and these have always ended in a stormy farewell.
At Siena, Bari, Juventus, Italy, Chelsea and most recently Inter, tensions have come to a head with those around him. From that point, there is no going back.
Tottenham should expect Conte to demand backing in the market, and this has always been non-negotiable for him. The club hesitating may well end in his exit.
Despite his stellar track record of trophies, Conte tends to exit every club with a bitter farewell
His desire for respect has also been made clear in several press conferences. In Italy, he proclaimed himself as a ‘Condottiero’, a leader, that has to be listened to without fail by his players and superiors.
With the right environment and investment, however, Conte has proven time and time again that he can clinch silverware and bring the glory days back to his clubs.
A man always on the edge, he will leap to his own defence. His decisions during Inter’s Champions League knockout were questioned by Fabio Capello in December, but Conte was not afraid to fire back.
WHAT HAPPENED AT INTER?
Conte walked into a mess behind the scenes at the San Siro, but managed to bounce back from his difficult start to clinch their first Scudetto in 11 years and break up Juventus’ spell of dominance.
The success of his most recent project underlined the fact that everything he touches turns into gold. However, his hefty salary also means that even some of the top clubs in Europe couldn’t afford him.
Carlo Ancelotti and Max Allegri, despite having won more titles than Conte, are both on lower wage packages at Real Madrid and Juventus respectively. It is understood that Conte was earning €13million (£11m) a year at Inter.
Conte left Inter with the club in dire financial straits and just days after their Serie A title win
He also banked around €7m (£6m) for his severance pay when parting ways with the club last month. Having done what he does best by securing top spot, Conte abandoned the ship.
The financial difficulties facing the club meant he would have been forced to offload several of his players, and he was not willing to do that.
It has often been levelled at Conte that he is not able to build a long-term project. Both Milan Skriniar and Christian Eriksen admitted they heard about the departure by reading newspapers and watching TV.
This anecdote further highlights Conte’s impulsive nature and sheer unpredictability no matter where he is.
CONTE IS A WINNER FOCUSED ONLY ON RESULTS
Tottenham undoubtedly enjoyed some of their finest years under Pochettino. Their former boss is known to be a deeply sensitive person, and remains in love with Spurs and London.
This bond has even left him wanting to leave Paris Saint-Germain less than a year into his reign – but a reunion in north London now looks increasingly unlikely with talks with Conte underway.
It would be a mistake for Spurs to view their new man as an heir to Pochettino. Conte is hungry for success and turns every team he oversees into a winning machine, but rarely does he have affection to extend to supporters.
A born winner, Conte is solely focused on results and will demand lots from Spurs’ hierarchy
With a sheer desire to succeed, Conte turns every team he coaches into a winning machine
Even after seizing glory, Conte will be ready to leave. Tottenham have been warned about this particular aspect of his character by his record over the years.
He wants to win, but is unwilling to lower his wages or allow players to be offloaded from beneath him. With Conte at the helm, there is no room for backward steps.
There is no fear on his part when criticising the clubs he works for, either. Inter supporters were left irked on occasions by Conte choosing to stay as bullish as ever during important parts of the season.
Spurs will have no choice but to throw money at him. He would have no intention of taking up a role without significant amounts to put towards his targets.
STUBBORNESS OVER HIS TACTICS
Conte may very well be the most stubborn man to have ever coached in Europe.
The early stages of his career at Siena and Bari saw him use a 4-2-4 formation, but that system was promptly dropped just three games into his Juventus tenure.
Since then, Conte has instead favoured a 3-5-2 set-up. This may work domestically, but he has paid the price in the Champions League in the past for a failure to change up his ideas.
Conte is incredibly stubborn over his tactics and would field his Tottenham players in a 3-5-2
Daniel Levy will be expected to splash the cash for Conte and will need to keep him happy
This may well be his biggest flaw. Conte never alters his way of coaching or how he prepares his team for the biggest games.
Players who have been pushed out by him are rarely ever handed a reprieve, meanwhile.
Tottenham would have to shape up very differently indeed under Conte next season. This would likely see them spend heavily to ensure that, if the coach does arrive, everything is in place for him to get straight to work.