Man­ager Conte signs im­proved Chelsea deal

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte signed a new two-year deal with the Premier League giants yes­ter­day as the club moved to quell re­ports of a rift with the Ital­ian. The deal was con­firmed as Conte, who guided Chelsea to the ti­tle in his first sea­son last year, pre­pares to take his squad on a pre-sea­son tour of Asia.

“I am very happy to have signed a new con­tract with Chelsea,” he said in a state­ment on Chelsea’s of­fi­cial web­site. “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.”

No terms of the deal were dis­closed. English press re­ports said the new con­tract im­proved the terms of the re­main­ing two years left on the three-year deal Conte signed when he joined the club last year.

Chelsea di­rec­tor Ma­rina Gra­novskaia said the con­tract re­warded the “in­cred­i­ble suc­cess” Chelsea had en­joyed in Conte’s first sea­son. “This new con­tract re­flects our belief that he can con­tinue to de­liver re­sults both do­mes­ti­cally and as we re­turn to Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion in the Cham­pi­ons League,” Gra­novskaia said in a state­ment.

“Since ar­riv­ing in west Lon­don, the 47year-old Ital­ian’s pas­sion, tac­ti­cal acu­men and win­ning men­tal­ity have en­deared him to Chelsea sup­port­ers all over the world and we look for­ward to fur­ther tri­umphs with An­to­nio at the helm.”

Conte’s coach­ing staff has been aug­mented by the ar­rival of two more Ital­ians, with Paolo Vanoli join­ing as an as­sis­tant to the first team head coach and Da­vide Maz­zotta work­ing as as­sis­tant/player anal­y­sis. The con­tract boost for Conte comes amid re­ports that the Ital­ian has grown frus­trated with Chelsea’s in­abil­ity to re­in­force their ti­tle-win­ning squad. Chelsea had long been linked to a move for Ever­ton striker Romelu Lukaku but saw the Bel­gian in­ter­na­tional join Manch­ester United in­stead. Conte had also re­port­edly been keen on Ju­ven­tus duo Leonardo Bonucci and Alex San­dro, but nei­ther came to fruition. — AFP

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