Antonio Conte is still waiting for his meeting with Steven Zhang, as per a report in the Italian media today.

Gazzetta dello Sport’s print edition confirmed Inter’s head coach did not hold talks with the club president yesterday and there is still no certainty over when it will happen.

Conte and Zhang are embroiled in a ‘game of chess’ but at some point they will both have to lay their cards on the table.

However, the parties are distant at the moment because their starting positions for discussions are very different.

Conte expects Inter to deliver a high-profile sporting project after he took the club back to the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years, as reiterated by his assistant Cristian Stellini on Sunday.

Stellini made it clear that Inter need reinforcements if they are to progress in Europe and, more importantly, if they are to respect the promises Suning made to Conte in 2019.

Zhang, on the other hand, has made it clear to Inter’s directors that the club must contain costs and reduce their wage bill, with a strong chance that a key player will be sold.

The sporting objective is no longer winning the Serie A title, instead securing consistent qualification for the UEFA Champions League.

Inter’s management know full well that Conte was made bigger promises than that when he joined the club, but they are also aware that the world has changed since 2019 and that has forced Suning to review their plans.