Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has accepted that he refused to give assurances over is future at the Stamford Bridge
Conte has been involved in several off-field issues since the end of last season. First came the Diego Costa fiasco, then the transfer tussle with the board and the latest being a very public and personal spat with Jose Mourinho. Taking all things into consideration, Conte has been unsettled in London.
Several reports have linked with a return to his homeland. Others have gone even further and suggested that Chelsea is already preparing for life after Conte. They say that the club has prepared a shortlist of managers as his potential replacements which includes names like Massimiliano Allegri, Luis Enrique and Maurizio Sarri.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 12, 2018
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Leicester City, Conte refused to shut down any rumours of a possible exit.
“…in England it is habit to sack early”
The Italian played the role of a miracle worker by leading Chelsea to the Premier League victory in his first season in England. However, Conte conceded that things change quickly and last season’s success did not guarantee his prolonged stay at the club. He said, “In football, anything can happen and you must be ready. I have a lot of experience to deal with this situation. I trust in my work and what we are doing in these two seasons.”
Conte insisted that he is happy at the club but did not comment on any talks of a possible contract extension. Notably, Conte’s contract expires next summer. “I am happy and enjoying my time here. It wasn’t easy because it was not easy for me as it was my first experience in another country.”
“For sure I have another year of contract and in this case, I think the club has decided to send me away. We have started a work here.”
“When you start the work, you need time to improve your work and have solid basis. Football now is very difficult if you can predict if you stay for many years in one club.”
Conte further fueled exit talks by saying that England has a ‘habit’ of sacking managers. He said, “England is changing this equation. Before managers were in charge for many years, but now in England, it is habit to sack early.”
Antonio Conte is one of the most underrated managers in football. He has led Juventus to unprecedented domestic success, led an unfancied Italian national team to the quarterfinals of Euros and won the Premier League with a Chelsea side that battled relegation under Jose Mourinho. If he leaves, which seems likelier by the day, there will be no shortage of offers for him. A return to Italy is the most genuine possibility but Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain also see him as a viable candidate for their top job.