Juventus coach Antonio Conte looks on before the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final soccer match against Olympique Lyon at the Olympic stadium in Turin April 10, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Antonio Conte, who coached Juventus to three successive Italian league titles, has stunned Serie A by resigning two months after signing a deal for this season.
"I need to announce the decision to mutually terminate my contract with Juventus, which tied us together for this season," Conte told the Juventus TV Channel. "There was a journey towards this decision."
Conte, a former Juventus player for 13 years who took charge at the Turin club in 2011, wanted investment in the team in order to mount a serious challenge in the Champions League.
His Serie A champions finished 17 points ahead of second-placed AS Roma as they racked up a record 102 to become the first team to break the 100-points barrier.
At the end of last season he repeatedly refused to commit his future to the club and now Italian sports media said he was unhappy that a chance to sign Chile's Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona fell through with the World Cup forward joining Arsenal.
Conte also feared Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal might move to Manchester United, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, which also reported Roberto Mancini was among possible candidates to succeed him at Juve.
"You were a great leader for our lads and this news leaves me enormously sad," Juventus CEO Andrea Agnelli said on the club website (www.juventus.com).
"I think of the three years we spent together, three years that allowed us to write history with this club: three consecutive league titles, two Italian Super Cups, but above all exponential growth."
Juve captain Gianluigi Buffon said: "It was an unexpected decision, a bolt from the blue.
"Juventus lose a great deal, it's pointless denying what our coach truly brings to the team and how much of the credit he deserves for the last three years," he added at a news conference organised for Carrarese, a club the Italy goalkeeper holds shares in.
"Probably it is something that matured over time and had been brewing for a while.
"I don't know why he decided to leave, as I haven't spoken to him. (But) when you reach decisions like this, the only reason can be you no longer want to continue this type of work."
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