Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reportedly refused to speculate upon his future at Stamford Bridge before his club finishes this season by winning the Premier League title.
The Blues will play West Bromwich Albion this weekend, wherein a victory for the London club would mean a first Premier League title for Conte in his first season as Chelsea boss.
But for the past week, the former Juventus and Italy coach had been called to speculate upon his future after rumours linked him with Serie A side Internazionale following the departure of coach Stefano Pioli.
Nonetheless, Conte insisted that his place right now is with the Blues — at least until they win the Premier League title.
“I have a contract for another two years with Chelsea but, for me and my players, the important thing is to be focused on the present,” Conte said.
“This moment is very important. The future is not important for any single person: me or the players. It’s normal to have a lot of speculation around players and coaches, so it’s important not to lose the concentration and be focused as we try to reach this fantastic target.”
“It’s logical that, when you start in a new club, the will is to continue and improve your work for many years. For sure this is my will. But now the most important thing is to reach our target.”
“To arrive at this moment, in this position, to have this great opportunity … we worked very hard for the whole season [for this]. Now it’s important to be ready and to try to do this step, to win and then to celebrate together.”
Should he succeed in clinching the title, Chelsea are expected to offer Conte improved terms following the team’s various successes this term and to ward off any lingering interest in his stewardship.
The Italian had been linked with a return to his home country with Internazionale in recent months, and while he denied the substantiality of most of those claims the rumours were reignited as the Serie A side sacked manager Stefano Pioli on Tuesday after six months in charge.