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Tottenham boss Conte questioning his long-term future following deaths of close friends

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte is questioning his long-term future after a traumatic period following the deaths of three close friends, Gian Piero Ventrone, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli.

The 53-year-old Italian hinted that his stint as Spurs boss, where he has a year-long extension on his deal that expires at the end of this season, could be drawing to a close.

Conte worked closely with Ventrone as Spurs fitness coach, before his passing in October. Mihajlovic and Vialli are former club and country teammates who passed away in December and January respectively too.

“This season is a difficult season under personal aspect because to lose three people I knew very well, first Giampiero, then Sinisa and now Gianluca, it was not simple,” Conte told reporters.

“When this kind of situation happens, they bring you to have important reflection. Because many times we think and we give a lot of importance to our work and we forget the family.

“We forget that we can all have we need, to have more time for us. The season is a difficult season for me on the personal aspect, and this season is making me to have important reflection about my future.”

Conte, who took over at Tottenham in November 2021, resides away from his family in Italy but flies back when possible. His daughter Vittoria is studying for exams, with wife Elisabetta remaining in Rome with her to assist her education.

“You understand that when you work and the work is at the top of your mind in your head, and maybe many times we forget to stay with family, we forget to spend time with friends,” he said.

“But this is our passion. And for the passion, we lose a lot of thoughts and when this kind of situation happens, I think that you start to think that maybe sometimes it’s also good to give more time to your family and your friends and also to yourself. That work is not everything in life.”

The Italian added that living away from family during such a traumatic period had taken its toll on him.

“Having my family in Italy is not good,” he said. “But when you have a son or daughter or kids [going to] school, you have to respect them because if every year or every two seasons you have to move your kids and totally change the environment, I don’t want to affect the life of my family.

“Sometimes it’s important to make decision or to sacrifice [your job] and to stay [with them], but I have a family that try to support me and be here in every moment they can. This kind of situation becomes more difficult when things like this happen like with Gianluca, Giampiero and Sinisa.”

Tottenham, whom Conte guided to fourth spot last season, are fifth in the Premier League with 33 points from 19 games, while they have qualified for the Champions League last-16 where they will face Milan.

Spurs face champions Manchester City in the league on Thursday amid a run of eight games before the end of February.

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