Wanted by In­ter, Conte wants Chelsea to value his worth

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: An­to­nio Conte has fired the open­ing gam­bit ahead of talks over new a con­tract, by telling Chelsea: “Pay me what I’m worth”.

The 47-year-old would have seen his team crowned Premier League cham­pi­ons had they beaten West Brom late yes­ter­day.

But the build-up to to yes­ter­day’s en­counter had been over­shad­owed by grow­ing spec­u­la­tion link­ing Conte with the va­cant In­ter Mi­lan man­ager’s job.

The Ital­ian on Thurs­day in­sisted it is his in­ten­tion to re­main at Stam­ford Bridge next sea­son but stopped short of deny­ing grow­ing spec­u­la­tion that In­ter want to ap­point him as their next boss.

Conte agreed a £6.5 mil­lion (RM35.75 mil­lion)-per-year deal when he signed a three-year con­tract with Chelsea last sum­mer — and the Ital­ian has proved value for money with Chelsea on the brink of clinch­ing the Dou­ble.

How­ever, he is only the fifth best paid man­ager in the Premier League be­hind Pep Guardi­ola (£15 mil­lion), Jose Mour­inho (£13.8 mil­lion), Arsene Wenger (£8.3 mil­lion) and Jur­gen Klopp (£7 mil­lion).

Conte has en­hanced his rep­u­ta­tion as one of the world’s lead­ing man­agers dur­ing his first sea­son in Eng­land, un­der­lined by In­ter’s des­per­ate ef­forts to make him their new boss af­ter sack­ing Ste­fano Pi­oli this week.

What’s more, the Ital­ian giants would be will­ing to push Conte’s wage closer to Guardi­ola and Mour­inho if he left Chelsea — with a wage of £12 mil­lion on of­fer if he re­turns to Serie A this sum­mer.

Fur­ther­more, the Mi­lan club would hand Conte a hefty trans­fer war chest as they look to en­tice him into leav­ing west Lon­don.

All that leaves the for­mer Ju­ven­tus man­ager in a strong po­si­tion go­ing into sum­mer talks over a con­tract ex­ten­sion.

Conte in­sists money will not be the defin­ing fac­tor when it comes to de­cid­ing his fu­ture this sum­mer.

How­ever, he has chal­lenged Chelsea to show him how much they value his work when talks get un­der­way.

“When you stay at this level, the money ex­plains to you your value. It tells you your value. When you work in foot­ball, (for me) be­fore as a foot­baller and stayed at the top level for many years, it’s the same when you be­come a coach.

“I think that money is not the most im­por­tant thing. The most im­por­tant thing is to win. That’s most im­por­tant thing for me and the play­ers, to write the his­tory.” Daily Mail

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