Monday, 5 February 2018

Antonio Conte to Abramovich: “Do this and I’ll sign a new contract with Chelsea”

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Antonio Conte has called for public backing from Chelsea in order to silence speculation about his future as head coach.



The Italian won the Premier League title in his first year in England but Chelsea have won just one league game in 2018 and failed to reach the Carabao Cup final after defeat to Arsenal, leading to talk that Conte could be sacked.



Conte – who last week denied reports linking him to the Italy job – has expressed his desire to honour the remaining 18 months of his contract.

He would now like a public vote of confidence from his employers to help silence talk of him departing Stamford Bridge.

“Maybe I’d like that the club to prepare a statement for me to tell [the media], ‘I trust in his job, I trust in his work’,” said Conte, ahead of Monday’s trip to Watford, live on Sky Sports.



“But at the same time I know that in the past it never happened, this, and for this reason why would I hope for something different?

“For sure, I think that I’d like to have a statement to support against this speculation.”

Chelsea travel to Vicarage Road 19 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City following last Wednesday’s humiliating 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.



The Blues’ only hopes of silverware come in the Champions League and the FA Cup, while they face a fight to secure a top-four league finish.

They face a tricky two-legged tie against La Liga leaders Barcelona in the second round of the Champions League, while Hull are their fifth-round opponents in the FA Cup.



Conte signed an improved two-year deal with Chelsea last summer and insists he remains committed to the club.

“I’m giving all of myself, me and my staff and also my players, for this club,” he said.



“And then I think that we are doing the maximum for this club and if the club understands this and the club wants to extend a new contract then we can talk, why not?

“My contract expires in 2019 and my decision is to continue to work with this club.”

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