Antonio Conte has once again dismissed reports linking him with a move to Inter Milan, expressing his dissatisfaction that “other people” continue to speculate over his future while stressing that he is “very happy” at Chelsea.
The Italian has garnered wide praise for his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, having guided the Blues to within touching distance of the Premier League title, but has been subsequently linked with a move to Serie A side Inter Milan.
Andrea Pastorello, brother of the Italian agent Federico, a friend of Conte’s, has fuelled suggestion that the manager’s spell in England could prove short-lived, while numerous reports from the Italian press have alleged that the manager’s family is pushing for him to return home.
But speaking ahead of side’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth on Saturday, Conte reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea.
“I read this interview about Andrea Pastorello, I don’t know why this person has spoken about me,” he said.
“I am very happy to stay here, this is the most important thing. I don’t like other people to speak for me.
“I have two more years on my contract with Chelsea, this is the truth.
“I think it’s normal to involve my name (with Inter) because I worked in Italy, I think they want to come back for me in Italy.”
Pastorello has done little to stifle the notion his compatriot might be tempted by a return to Italy, despite Chelsea remaining confident Conte will sign an extension to his contract, which runs to 2019, before the end of the season.
“Will Conte stay at Chelsea? If he wins a title and begins the cycle, the objective is one of continuity,” he was quoted as saying. “But if offers from clubs arrive, new opportunities may arise, especially at historical clubs.”
But when asked earlier in the week whether he will be at Chelsea next season, Conte said: “Yes, for the next season.”
Following their 2-1 victory against Manchester City at the Bridge on Wednesday night, Conte’s men travel to Dean Court on Saturday looking to maintain their seven-point lead at the top of the table.
Chelsea now sit in first place with 72 points to their name and eight games of the season left to play.