Patrice Evra believes Manchester United will regret not appointing Antonio Conte as their manager and says he is still ‘hurt’ and ‘disappointed’ over the decision.
Conte was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking last November.
The Italian was out of work following his departure from Serie A champions Inter Milan and was believed to be keen on taking over at United.
But United decided to go down a different route, appointing Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until the end of the season and then making Erik ten Hag their fifth permanent boss since Sir Alex Ferguson.
By the time Ten Hag was appointed, Conte had already been in charge of Tottenham for seven months, taking Spurs from ninth in the Premier League to fourth, securing a Champions League spot.
Old Trafford legend Evra says he is fully behind Ten Hag but cannot help thinking about the impact Conte could have had at Manchester United, both last season and ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.
‘It hurts my heart because I think Conte, Klopp, Guardiola are the best mangers in the world right now and we could have had him at Manchester United,’ he told the Daily Mirror.
‘But some people at the club, they said: “It’s not our style, it’s not what we’re looking for.”
‘So let’s see, now we have Erik ten Hag. Let’s see what he’s going to do. He has my support. But then, even if you brought a chef in, as the manager of Man United, he’d have my full support.
‘It’s a massive disappointment because Antonio Conte could have done something at Manchester United.
‘And you can see with Tottenham, he helped them to qualify for the Champions League.
‘They have the same players, so that’s why this manager is a genius. When I arrived at Juventus, every player told me: “Patrice, this guy is a genius.”
‘He’s addicted, he’s so passionate about football. So you’re going to run really hard. He’s going to make you sweat.
‘But if you look at the Tottenham fans, they are so happy because when they see the players now, win or they lose, they give everything. That’s the mentality of Antonio Conte.
‘That’s why I say it hurts. Not because it’s Tottenham – I love every team – but it’s just because Conte could have done something at United.’
Manchester United finished sixth in the Premier League last season, 13 points outside of the top four and 35 points below champions Manchester City.
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