Conte nearing end of the line at Chelsea?

Friday, 02 Feb, 2018

The battle between Conte and Stamford Bridge officials over player recruitment has been raging since last season and prompted speculation during the summer that he could quit.

Italy don't have a manager since sacking Giampiero Ventura past year. Conte won Chelsea the Premiership in a very hard league and it would be the similar case that took place with Claudio Ranieri and Leicester if Chelsea axes Conte.

"The only thing I can tell you is that I have 18 months of a contract and my will is to stay here".

This week he prepared for the visit of Bournemouth by training with Michy Batshuayi as his main striker, even though it was nearly certain the Belgium would be leaving the club before the game. Defeat to Bournemouth has left Chelsea just two points above fifth-placed Tottenham with a demanding run of fixtures ahead.

Some players also feel Conte is working them too hard.

The former Juventus manager has been linked with numerous roles, with the coach believed to fancy a return to his native Italy.

However, after stating he has no plans to speak to the FIGC, Conte added: "I can tell you Costacurta is a friend, we played together with the national team in 1994".

"We must re-establish the love affair between the national team and our country".

In the FIGC vote to succeed Carlo Tavecchio, who resigned after Italy's World Cup exit last November, none of the three presidential candidates Cosimo Sibilia, Gabriele Gravina and Damiano Tommasi - could obtain a majority.

Both players are returning to fitness following injuries and Conte said they must be eased back into first-team action, suggesting former Arsenal striker Giroud could be on the bench at Watford on Monday evening.

"There has been speculation that I will be sacked, but my focus is on continuing with my team".

Plenty of sides are in better form than Chelsea right now and Antonio is starting to sweat on it. It is unlikely that defeat to Barcelona will meet the criteria, but the top-four finish that Conte regards as a "great success" is considered the minimum requirement by those above him.

"Mancini? I know him well".