Juventus coach Conte to resign?
There were conflicting reports in the Italian press on Wednesday concerning the future of Juventus coach Antonio Conte, with a number of outlets speculating he could resign if he is banned for 10 months in his upcoming betting trial.
Conte has refused to negotiate a second plea-bargain agreement after the first - which would have seen him accept a three-month suspension - was rejected by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) disciplinary commission. He is now going to be subject to a full sporting trial and faces a much longer ban should he fail to prove his innocence.
Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi has recommended a 15-month suspension on the grounds that Conte failed to alert authorities to two potentially fixed matches during his time at Siena in the 2010-11 season.
The ban would only affect his input on match days and would prevent him taking his place on the bench or in the dressing room and rumours abound that he will be handed a 10-month suspension, effectively ruling him out for the forthcoming campaign.
Yet beyond that there is huge uncertainty in the Italian media with Sky Italia continuing to promote the club's public stance that they will stand by their coach whatever the result of the trial, putting Massimo Carrera - a member of Conte's staff - in charge during games.
The former Juve defender took control of the team during their last pre-season friendly against Malaga and is expected to do the same this weekend for the Italian Super Cup match against Napoli. The club have also issued a denial of reports that Conte was set to fire the Juventus legal team who have been representing him, in order to hire his own lawyers in an attempt to clear his name.
However, according to La Repubblica, Conte is ready to offer his resignation to the club should he be banned, following the path taken warlier this week by his assistant Cristian Stellini, who was banned for 30 months for his role in affecting results while playing for Bari in 2009-10.