Chelsea expect Conte to stay as EPL coach

Matt McGeehan
English Premier League club champions Chelsea insist Antonio Conte is happy at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea insist Antonio Conte is happy at Stamford Bridge and reports to the contrary are false.

Conte won the Premier League title in his first season in charge but the subject of his future has been continually raised in recent months.

Press Association Sport understands Conte, who is currently on holiday, is committed to Chelsea and will return for pre-season in a fortnight.

Chelsea are calm over the speculation, which they consider unfounded, and sources at the club say it is business as usual.

There have been suggestions Conte will demand an improved contract, 12 months into his existing three-year deal, and wants more of a say over transfers and the academy.

Speculation that tension is growing between the Italian and Chelsea's hierarchy over the matters has been dismissed.

Despite winning the Premier League and finishing runners-up to Arsenal in the FA Cup, Conte and the club recognise the need to reinforce their squad ahead of an impending Champions League return.

Striker Diego Costa recently claimed Conte had sent him a text message saying he was not part of his plans and could leave.

That prompted suggestions of friction between Conte and the Chelsea leadership, given Costa's availability becoming public could reduce his value in the transfer market.

But Conte has an excellent relationship with technical director Michael Emenalo, owner Roman Abramovich and the board.

Conte joined on a three-year contract last July after two years as Italy head coach.

He was named first-team head coach, rather than manager, outlining his priorities are on the training pitch, rather than in transfer negotiations, for example.

He has made Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia aware of his transfer wish list and Chelsea will continue recruitment efforts.

The 47-year-old, who won three Serie A titles with Juventus, had been linked with Inter Milan prior to Luciano Spalletti's recent appointment as Inter boss.