Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has signed an improved two-year deal with the club after winning the Premier League title in his first year with the club.
Chelsea confirmed the deal as the manager left for Beijing along with his squad ahead of a three-match pre-season tour of China and Singapore, on with Conte also describing the team’s achievements last year as “something amazing” in the club’s statement.
Aside from their Premier League title victory, the Italian had also inspired the Blues to put in their best club performance, winning 30 games and a club record of 13 consecutive victories. He also led his team into the final of the FA Cup, albeit losing the title to Arsenal.
Conte came to Chelsea under three-year contract London in the summer of 2016. Although the new deal does not extend Conte’s commitment to the club, it eases any immediate concerns over his future especially after speculations of a move to AC Milan.
“I am very happy to have signed a new contract with Chelsea,” said Conte. “We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing, which I am very proud of. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top.”
However, the decision to sign a new contract without extending the terms contradicts previous comments by Conte, who had indicated his willingness to commit to a longer deal.
Back in May, he said he wanted to stay with Chelsea “for many years”, adding: “If the club give me the possibility to stay and extend my contract, for sure I’m available to.”
Furthermore, the Italian manager would also most certainly have questions for the board regarding their lack of transfer activity, and their loss of a major target in Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who moved to Manchester United instead.