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Antonio Conte has not ruled out leaving Chelsea at the end of the season amid rumours the club is lining up Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri to take his job.
Per Nick Ames of the Guardian, Conte said: “Everything is possible. I have another year of contract at this club, but everything is possible.”
The 48-year-old, who won the Premier league title in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, also appeared to bemoan the culture of sacking managers at Chelsea:
“It is normal for the manager of this club to have this type of situation. Also if you won last season the league and reached the final of the FA Cup—this is the history of this club for the manager. I have a lot of experience in dealing with this type of situation but there is something strange if after the first game, which we lost against Burnley, the press push quickly to sack me. In another club this doesn’t happen.”
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Conte said it must be Chelsea’s decision to break his contract, suggesting he won’t walk away from the job ahead of time. This hint has come amid rumours the Blues are considering alternatives to the former Italy national team boss.
The Daily Mail‘s Matt Barlow has named Juve chief Allegri and ex-Barcelona manager Luis Enrique as the top names being considered. Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri is also mentioned as an option.
One name not under consideration is Carlo Ancelotti, which is surprising since the 58-year-old won a league and FA Cup double with Chelsea in 2010.
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Ancelotti may not be in the frame, but Allegri firmly is. In fact, Italian publication Corriere dello Sport (h/t MailOnline’s James Dutton) recently reported an agreement is in place to bring Allegri to Stamford Bridge next season.
However, Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard has revealed Juve are already “making an effort” to keep Allegri for the length of his contract, which expires in 2020.
Even so, Johnson also detailed how Conte, who is a target of Paris Saint-Germain, may be on borrowed time at Chelsea, as “sources suggest his time at the club is running out.”
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Whatever happens, Conte has reaffirmed his credentials as one of the game’s best managers during his spell in west London. His team plays a brand of football more progressive than he’s often given credit for, while the tactical flexibility of his 3-4-2-1 formation has influenced almost all of the Premier League.