Monday 23 September 2019

Cup final to end Conte long goodbye

Chelsea v Huddersfield Town, Live, Sky Sports, 7.45

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Photo: PA
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Photo: PA

Sam Dean

Antonio Conte expects that there will be a swift resolution to the uncertainty over his position as Chelsea head coach once the season ends.

The Italian has previously refused to comment on what he has described as "speculation", but said yesterday that his future will become clear within "in two weeks". In other words, after the FA Cup final against Manchester United.

Conte, who is expected to leave Chelsea despite winning the Premier League in his first season and guiding the club to consecutive FA Cup finals, added that it was not his concern whether the team is well prepared for the next campaign.

"It is very difficult to comment on speculation because there has been speculation around me from the start of the season - after the first game against Burnley," Conte said.

"This speculation is not important to me because my focus is only to do my work in the best possible way with my players. I am doing this from the start until the end.

"There are only two weeks and this season will finish, and you will know if there is a different situation or if you see me again next season."

Chelsea face Huddersfield tonight looking to continue their unlikely late push for a place in the Premier League top four.

Conte's charges, who have won five games in a row in all competitions, are two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and three points behind third-placed Liverpool with two games remaining.

Asked if he would be leaving behind a playing squad in good shape for next season, Conte said: "This is not my task, to tell if I did a good job or if I have a good team for next season, or if we are building something important."

Luis Enrique, Max Allegri, Maurizio Sarri and Leonardo Jardim have all been named as potential successors to Conte.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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