Antonio Conte took to England to devastating effect as he inspired Chelsea to an emboldening season that saw the Blues reach the FA Cup final and secure their second Premier League title in three years.
The luxury of competing on two fronts – due to early exit in the EFL Cup and lack of European football – was largely attributed to their fine vein of form, having won 37 of their 47 games played last season.
However, the Chelsea gaffer has withheld talks over an improved contract offered to him after his title winning campaign; a move that has sparked sharp talks of a possible summer exit from Stamford Bridge.
Frustration over transfers
By virtue of being the reigning Premier League champions, Chelsea face the immediate challenge of not just defending their crown, but also challenging for other accolades next season – none more so than the illustrious Champions League trophy.
As such, Conte is saddled with the expectation of proving he was not just a one hit wonder, but a top brass manager among Europe’s cream of the crop. The 47-year old manager may however upset the odds with a possible exit over transfers.
Manchester City were quick to sign Bernardo Silva from Monaco whilst their counterparts, United, recently acquired the services of Victor Lindelof from Benfica.
This has allegedly pushed Antonio Conte to the margins over lack of signings, with the club showing little incentive to compete against fellow Premier League challengers.
Such is the frustration that has made the Chelsea manager stall contract negotiations.
Possible exit of key players
Chelsea’s ineptitude is not just witnessed through lack of significant signings but also their inability to secure the future of stellar figures at the club.
Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have yet to commit their future at the Bridge; with speculations running rife over a double swoop by Real Madrid for the Belgium duo.
Real are in desperate need of a goalkeeper and Courtois could serve as a befitting alternative to David De Gea, while either Hazard or Kylian Mbappe could lace up as possible replacements for the want-out Cristiano Ronaldo.
Interference by Roman
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich spent a lifetime of resources to jolt Chelsea back to life and as such, meddling in the overall management of the club’s affairs was as forthcoming as it was it was levelheaded.
Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti often bemoaned the level of interference during their stay at the London based club, but nothing ever came of it.
Conte in the past, as a matter of principle, terminated his contract with Juventus despite completing three back-to-back Serie A titles – largely due to the lack of sufficient support by the owners over transfers.
Talks of a Conte exit may be a bit moot, but his concerns are certainly legitimate and need to be addressed.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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