Current Tottenham Hotspur and former Inter coach Antonio Conte had been hoping to sign Dejan Kulusevski at Inter, but was beaten to the Swede’s signature by Juventus.
Speaking in a press conference after his team’s 5-1 demolition of Newcastle United yesterday, as reported by Yahoo News, the coach praised Kulusevski’s quality and named him as a one-time Inter target.
Kulusevski had been a standout player on loan at Parma from Atalanta, and it was not surprising to see him emerge as a transfer target for a number of top clubs in Serie A.
In the end it was the Bianconeri who won the race for his signature, though he did not immediately make a big impact, first under Andrea Pirlo and then this season under Max Allegri.
Juventus decided to sacrifice Kulusevski as part of their January restyling of their squad, and the player moved to Spurs in the Premier League where he has been a key figure in the North London team’s resurgent form.
Conte is happy to have the 21-year-old at his disposal, and as he revealed, he would have also have liked to have worked with him at Inter.
“We are talking about a player that I know very well, because he played in Italy,” he said. “He started to play with Atalanta, then Atalanta [sent] him on loan to Parma, and he played in Serie A. And he played in a fantastic way.”
He went on that “When I was coach of Inter, I tried to ask him, but then Juventus moved before. Maybe they put more money than us at the time, and then they bought this player.”