Conte: 19th Scudetto is in reach
A.C. Milan manager Antonio Conte has claimed the club aren't as far away from their 19th Serie A title as the Italian media would have you believe. Following an 8th place finish last year, Milan have been given little chance by the media of threatening Juventus' superiority.
However, at a pre-match interview ahead of the season opener at Sassuolo, Italian manager Conte has insisted that the Rossoneri aren't far behind last years top three: Juventus, Roma and Napoli. Despite enduring an uncertain pre-season, the 44-year-old has downplayed the importance of results and instead urged the media to focus upon the improvements the club have made in the transfer market.
The poor pre-season has been disregarded by many Milanista fans as a period of tactical transition for the team. Following Clarence Seedorf's departure at the beginning of the summer and Conte's subsequent appointment, the team have had to adapt from a 4-2-3-1 formation - which was adopted by Seedorf - to Conte's successful 3-5-2 formation.
And whilst Milan were busy working on deals for their six arrivals, the Rossoneri's rivals were far less active in the transfer market. Conte's former club, Juventus, added just one player in the shape of creative Turkish midfielder Arda Turan. Roma managed to attract Arsenal attacked Joel Campbell on loan as well as the permanent signature of German international Sami Khedira. Napoli were the most active of Milan's rivals as they announced three signings: Andrea Ranocchia, Fabio Coentrao and Claudio Yacob for a combined fee of €35 million.
"We should not be overlooked for the Serie A title," demanded Conte, "As far as I'm concerned, Juve's spell of dominance is over. Despite winning the title last year by 17 points, the rest of the league is closing in. Ourselves, Napoli, Roma, Fiorentina and even Inter are ready to pounce at any opportunity we have."