Antonio Conte has spoken about his Blues’ future following Chelsea’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Barcelona on Tuesday.
There has been strong speculation suggesting that Conte will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. However, speaking after his side’s last-16 first leg with the Catalan giants, Conte spoke out about his future and indicated that he wishes to honour his contract with Chelsea.
“In 14 years, Chelsea have changed coach 10 times, so they do have a tendency to chop and change here,” Conte told Mediaset Premium.
“The media also plays on this habit the moment there are negative results. They were already writing headlines about my dismissal after the opening game against Burnley. It’s no problem for me, in fact, I really like pressure. I just hope it doesn’t affect the players.
“I said very clearly, I have a contract to 2019. I intend to respect it. After that, anything can happen in football. I am happy at Chelsea, but both parties need to be happy. In our line of work, we always have a bag packed. My intention is to remain here, but if something were to change, there would be several different scenarios opening up.”
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has very little patience with managers who fail to win a trophy during a season and if the Blues do end up without silverware, it will not be surprising to see Conte being sacked even after leading his charges to the Premier League title last season.
The 48-year-old has been strongly linked with a return to the Italian national team. He managed Italy during Euro 2016, leading the Azzurri to a quarterfinal finish.
Many feel that Conte is the best man to rebuild Italian football after the national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, marking the first time that they have failed to qualify for the showpiece since 1958.