Antonio Conte has insisted that he remains fully committed to Chelsea despite his job being under increasing threat at the Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte says that he is totally committed to the club but has called for improvement following a “negative result” at Vicarage Road. Chelsea’s hopes of finishing in the top four have suffered a major blow after losing 3-0 and 4-1 to Bournemouth and Watford respectively.
Speculation has been rife over the last few weeks that Conte is ready to walk away from the Stamford Bridge after suffering back-to-back defeats. Spanish publications Sport reported this week that Conte is deliberately trying to force his exit by challenging the Chelsea board over his future.
Italian outlet La Gazzetta Dello Sport also reported that Conte is wanted is wanted by AC Milan, Inter, and the Italian national team. While Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also reportedly keen on securing the services of the former Juventus boss as there are doubts over the future of Unai Emery and Zinedine Zidane respectively.
But despite all this, Conte has insisted that he remains fully committed to Chelsea and has called for improvements. Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s game against West Bromwich on Tuesday, Conte said: “I am not thinking for one moment about the possibility of going away from this club. My commitment and the players are totally for this club.”
“A lot of time in football the manager and the coach depends on the result. At the moment we are having a poor result. For this reason, we have to pay great attention. We have to try to stop this bad run and get three points against West Brom. It won’t be easy, the confidence is not high but we have to trust in our work and football.”
According to some reports, Luis Enrique is in a very enviable position as Conte’s successor, especially if the Blues need a replacement before the end of the season. It is said that Conte’s fate will be decided by Barcelona, who Chelsea takes on in the last 16 of the Champions League. Other than Luis Enrique, two more names are being linked with Chelsea: Maurizio Saari and Thomas Tuchel.
Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique could become Chelsea’s newest coach if Chelsea want to get rid of Antonio Conte before the end of the season. Conte won't be replaced before their Champions League game against Barcelona.[md] pic.twitter.com/TC6QOmXfgV
— FC Barcelona (@BarcaUniversal) February 5, 2018
Conte would be aiming to avoid losing three consecutive games for the first time in nine years as West Brom visits Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Given that Chelsea is unlikely to win the league this season, now might be a good time for the Italian to pick up his first Champions League title. Domestic cup titles will probably not save his job. But it’s high time that Chelsea should start lining up the replacement for Conte as it is very uncertain that he’ll remain at the club.
Given the magnitude of what Conte achieved last season — domestic domination on the back of an unprecedented overhaul of the team’s tactical system — I think Abramovich will give him the Ancelotti treatment and will part ways amicably at the end of the season.