When speaking to the media on Friday, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte hardly put reports about his future at the club beyond this season to bed.
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Multiple reports suggest that Max Allegri and Luis Enrique are being lined up to replace him as Chelsea boss after the 2017-18 campaign with the Italian manager having just one more season left on his current contract.
Speaking to the media ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), Conte’s comments will have been far from reassuring to Chelsea’s fans.
“Everything is possible. I have a year contract. Anything is possible. Our job is very difficult. Everything can change,” Conte said.
He was then asked further about his comments and that he didn’t seem too sure he’d be in charge of Chelsea next season.
This was the response of the former Juventus and Italy manager who delivered the PL title for Chelsea in his first season in charge with a record 30 wins from 38 games.
“There is something strange, if after the first game we lost against Burnley the press pushed quickly to sack me for another coach. I think in other clubs this doesn’t happen. I have another year of contract,” Conte said. “In this case, I think the club has to decide to send me away. We have started our work, our big work here together with the players, then with the club. When you start the work, you need time to improve your work, to create a solid base.”
“For the manager of this club it is normal to have this type of situation. Also, if you won last season the league and you reach the final of the FA Cup, this is the history of this club for the manager. I have a lot of experience to deal with this type of situation.”
So, it appears Conte is keeping his cards close to his chest and the Italian boss certainly didn’t proclaim that he sees his future at Chelsea beyond the end of this campaign.
Intriguing times ahead for the Blues as Conte’s relationship with the hierarchy at Chelsea seems to be more than a little strained with reports suggesting he isn’t happy with some of the transfer deals put in place by the clubs recruitment team.
On top of that, Conte’s public spat with Jose Mourinho in recent weeks has shown he may be feeling the pressure and given talk about him being fired at Chelsea less than 12 months after delivering a phenomenal turn around to win the PL title, you can understand why he’s leaving the door open for a potential return to Italy, or elsewhere, in the summer.