Under-fire Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has insisted he has no plans to walk away from Stamford Bridge this summer, despite his future coming under substantial scrutiny in recent weeks.
The Italian led the Blues to Premier League success last season and still has a year remaining on his Chelsea contract, but tensions with the club’s board have been clear to see ever since the summer. Conte has not held back in his criticism of Chelsea’s transfer policy and his lack of access to the purse strings, and in term, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy are said to be growing impatient with the 48-year-old.
Despite still being in contention for a wealth of silverware this season, the Blues have been under-par in the Premier League, with all hopes of successfully defending their crown effectively over already. Chelsea now sit fourth in the league table, a staggering 15 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, and the coach and his charges came under renewed criticism following their dour 0-0 stalemate against Leicester at home yesterday.
“The club has to decide to send me away”
Inevitably, post-match interviewers once again turned their attention to Conte’s standing at Stamford Bridge, with the Italian looking ever more likely to depart following the conclusion of the current season. However, the former Juventus coach was defiant in his response, insisting the club will have to show him the door if they want to replace him.
“Everything is possible, but I have another year of my contract and in this case, I think the club has to decide to send me away… It is normal for the manager of the club to have this situation,” The Telegraph reports the 48-year-old as saying, the “situation” referring to the barrage of rumours surrounding his future despite leading his side to the league title only months ago.
Conte added: “I am fully committed to Chelsea, to work with my players to try to improve the club in the football aspect. I am fully committed in this and I am happy in what I am doing now and what I did in the past.”