I’M ANGRY AND SAD BUT I DON’T WANT TO QUIT
Conte hits back at Vialli claims
ANTONIO CONTE has dismissed Gianluca Vialli’s claims that he “cannot wait to leave Chelsea”.
Former Chelsea boss Vialli, now a TV pundit for Sky Italia, claimed Conte wants to quit Stamford Bridge on the back of their disappointing season. But Conte said he has not spoken to Vialli for more than a year and claimed suggestions he was trying to get himself sacked made him “angry and sad”. The spotlight was already on Conte’s future, with Chelsea looking certain to miss out on a top-four place. Juventus manager Max Allegri is the latest name in the frame to replace him while Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim and ex-Barcelona coach Luis Enrique are also in the running.
But Conte said: “Don’t forget that Gianluca Vialli has worked for Sky for many years and he is now a journalist. He is a friend but I can tell you I’ve not talked to him for one year.
“Gianluca and I played together for many years at Juventus. He was my captain, we won the Champions League together, and I consider him a friend. All of my former team-mates, I consider them friends.
“With Gianluca we went once to dinner last season and then I stopped (speaking to him). The people who stay very close to me know very well my intentions – to stay here, to continue my job here. This is the truth. You will see.” Conte’s £9million-a-year contract runs until 2019 yet it has almost become accepted that he will leave this summer after Chelsea’s lame defence of their title.
One escape route looks to be closed off with former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel now favourite to take charge at Paris SaintGermain. That leaves a return to the Italian national team as Conte’s most likely next move
There have also been claims that Conte is angling to be sacked and that explains some of his bizarre decisions this season, including questioning the club’s transfer policy. But the Italian added: “I am very angry. I am very sad for this situation.
“Those who know me very well know I am trying to do my very best to change this situation because I have great responsibility.
“I feel great responsibility for my work.
“Sometimes it is very difficult to sleep with these type of problems.”
TRUE BLUE ..FOR NOW Conte says he has no intention of leaving – despite what his old friend said
IF THE CAP FITS Vialli said Conte was keen to escape Stamford Bridge