Tuesday 16 January 2018

Speculation over Antonio Conte's future as Chelsea manager takes a fresh twist

Head coach Antonio Conte is ready to sign a new Chelsea deal, according to the latest reports from Italy
Head coach Antonio Conte is ready to sign a new Chelsea deal, according to the latest reports from Italy
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Chelsea are hopeful that manager Antonio Conte will sign a new contract in the coming days after positive talks were held between both parties, according to Sky Italy.

Reports in Conte's native Italy suggested he was close to walking away from Chelsea last week, amid growing frustration over his lack of influence with the clubs scouting network and transfer policy.

Yet the same source are reporting that Conte is prepared to stay at Chelsea after all, following a fresh round of discussions over a new deal following his triumphant first season at the club.

Conte's Premier League title success last month was secured by primarily using just 14 regular players and the tactician has made it clear that he needs to bolster his resources ahead of the club's return to the Champions League next season.

The latest reports suggest Conte is looking to sign six new players this summer, with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku believed to be at the top of his wanted list as he looks to resolve a striker crisis that would develop if Diego Costa leaves the club.

Chelsea officials were reported to be furious that Conte told Costa via text that he was no long part of his plans, in a move that depreciated the striker's value in the transfer market.

Yet the word emerging from Conte's camp suggests he is willing to work within Chelsea's current set-up, as he looks to extend the current contract he has at the club that is due to run until the summer of 2019.

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