Antonio Conte has now says that he has no intention of leaving Chelsea before the end of his contract. The Italian is committed to the champions until 2019 but appeared to fuel speculation of an earlier departure with a recent interview in Italy in which he was quoted as saying:
‘Not a doubt in my mind that I will be home before long.’
But he moved to kill off doubts over his future on Friday. He said:
‘From two weeks I am reading wrong things also because I did an interview two weeks ago and I am sure the translation was wrong because I only said one day in the future I would like to go back to Italy.
‘One day in the future but I know very well my position. I have two years on my contract with Chelsea to go and I’m happy to work for this club, with my players and I like to work with my players.
‘I like to have this great feeling with our fans, our supporters and I don’t see problems.
‘Another situation I want to clarify is my family is staying with me here. They are not staying in Italy (unlike last season). My daughter is going to school here in Cobham.’
When asked if he would stay beyond the next two years, Conte said:
‘Every coach when they start their work with a club for sure they hope to stay for a long time and to try to build something important for the club.
But I always say our job is very difficult and it is very strange because one day you are the best and another day you stay at your home.’
Meanwhile, Conte played down the chances of Andrea Pirlo joining the Chelsea coaching staff following his retirement from playing at the end of the MLS season.
Conte said: ‘I knew he decided to retire and finish his career in December with New York.
‘I can talk about him in the best way but in this moment he doesn’t know his future, what he wants to do when he finishes his career.’