Antonio Conte says he wants to stay at Chelsea beyond the summer and will reject any Italy approach

Conte says he has no immediate plans to return to international management

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Friday 02 February 2018 15:18
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Antonio Conte wants to remain at Stamford Bridge
Antonio Conte wants to remain at Stamford Bridge

Antonio Conte says he plans to stay at Chelsea beyond the summer, and will reject any overtures from the Italian football federation to return to the international job.

Amid what has been a difficult period for the 48-year-old, with issues over transfer targets and a bad 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth only intensifying speculation over his future, FIGC vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta openly admitted he will go to London talk to the Stamford Bridge boss.

Conte said he had no plans to speak to his former international teammate, though, and pointed to the length of time left on his contract.

Directly asked whether he plans to speak to Costacurta, Conte said: “No. I must be honest. No.”

“I can tell [you] that Costacurta is a friend. We played together with the national team in 1994. But, maybe he forgot that I still have 18 months of contract with Chelsea. My intention, my will, my desire is to respect this contract.

“From the start of this season there have been a lot of speculation and rumours around me. I think this. The only thing I can tell you now is I still have 18 months of contract with Chelsea and my will, my desire, is to stay here, continue my work and this is my will. This is my will. I don't see problems about this.”

The Italian manager for the Euro 2016 campaign, Conte added that he doesn’t understand why he has been linked to so many other jobs right now.

“No, I don't know why. I don't know why. I repeat, my intention, my will, is to respect the contract. We signed a three-year contract. I think our desire is to continue and to respect the contract. But, from the start of the season, after our defeat against [Burnley] there was a lot of speculation about me being sacked. But I'm not interested in this.

“My only desire is to work and try and do my best for this team. We know very well the difficulty we are in, and may have in the future. But we must be prepared. We know very well our path this season.”

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