Saturday 19 August 2017

'It’s up to Antonio to decide' - Agent of Chelsea manager Conte fuels rumours he may quit this summer

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte before the Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on April 30, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte before the Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on April 30, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Antonio Conte’s agent has fuelled rumours that his client may be considering his future as Chelsea manager, as he refused to deny they are considering an offer to take over as Inter Milan boss.

Conte’s future at Chelsea has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months, even though he has made a hugely positive impact in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

A Premier League and FA Cup double is within touching distance for Conte’s Chelsea, but persistent reports in his native Italy have suggested that he would be open to move back to his homeland this summer.

Inter Milan have been strongly linked with a move for Conte in recent days and his agent Federico Pastorello told Sky that it will be up to the Chelsea manager to make a decision on his future later this month.

“Inter? I’d prefer not to say anything, because it’s up to Antonio to decide,” Pastorello told Sky. “He has a two-year contract and Chelsea are happy to keep him.”

The comments will concern Chelsea officials, coming on a day when news emerged that Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian has signed a pre-contract agreement with Blues striker Diego Costa to make a move in June.

Even if they wrap secure success on home soil in the next few weeks, Chelsea will look to bolster their squad ahead of a return to the Champions League next season and they will be keen to seek assurances from Conte that he will remain at the helm.

Conte moved to dismiss rumours that he was considering his future at Chelsea last month, as he offered up these comments:

“Honestly, I have a good relationship and when I need something I speak with the club,” he stated.

“We always find a way to try and find the right solution, but always together. It’s very difficult to always take the right solution, but we always take the decision together.

“I repeat: I’m very happy to be Chelsea’s coach and I want to continue in this way for many years.”

While Conte appeared to be unequivocal in committing his future to Chelsea, the latest reports in Italy will spark fresh doubts over his position.

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