Chelsea manager Antonio Conte signed a new two-year deal with the Premier League giants as the club moved to quell reports of a rift with the Italian.
It came after months of speculation that after just one year at Stamford Bridge the Italian could quit. There was – and probably remains – interest in his services from Inter Milan. There are also suggestions that Antonio Conte would like to return to his native country for family reasons.
There have been reports that Antonio Conte has become increasingly frustrated with Chelsea’s effectiveness in the transfer market as he prepares to deal with Champions League football on top of domestic commitments. It is also understood he has clashed with those above him at the club.
The Italian coach, who penned a three-year deal on his appointment last summer, guided the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge. No terms of the deal were disclosed. The new contract represents new improved terms, but is not an extension. The fact that it is not an extension could mean that the rumours that he wants to return to Italy could be true.
“I am very happy to have signed a new contract with Chelsea. We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing, which I am very proud of. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top,” Conte said on Chelsea’s official website.
It would have been a disaster if the Italian had quit after the impact he made at Chelsea last season. Inheriting the remains of Mourinho’s bizarre decline and dismissal somehow, against the odds, Conte made them the best team in England and won the title by a distance as well as taking them to the FA Cup final.
Chelsea made Tuesday’s announcement as Antonio Conte and his squad headed out for a preseason tour to Asia, which will feature matches against FA Cup winners Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Internazionale
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “Antonio achieved incredible success last season, adapting to English football very quickly and leading us to the Premier League title. This new contract reflects our belief that he can continue to deliver results both domestically and as we return to European competition in the Champions League.”