Chelsea to retain Antonio Conte beyond 2019

Chelsea FC is set to extend Antonio Conte’s contract beyond its current expiration date in summer 2019.

The Blues intend to ward off lingering interest from Inter Milan in the process, but may choose to announce the deal only once the destiny of the Premier League title has become clear.

Conte signed a deal with Chelsea that runs to 2019 and is worth around £6.5m a year last summer in his first managerial role outside his homeland of Italy.

A new, longer contract will also see Chelsea increase the Italian’s salary, but, in keeping with Conte’s own mindset, are reluctant to announce anything that might serve as a distraction to the side’s title challenge.

There were also encouraging signs for Chelsea as Conte was begins to settle down to life in London. Although he said that his wife, Elisabetta, who is completing a university course, and young daughter, Vittoria, have been missing him but said they will finally move to London in the summer.

Chelsea are currently on course for a domestic brace of trophies, with Conte leading the team to their latest victory against London rivals West Ham on Monday, which in turn maintained their commanding 10-point gap on top of the Premier League table.

As the Blues welcome Manchester United at Stamford Bridge next Monday in the FA Cup, the Italian intends to select a strong side — which includes N’Golo Kante and Thibaut Courtois, as well as Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta. David Luiz and Marcos Alonso, both carrying slight injuries, could still be rested, though the latter has made clear his desire to feature.

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