Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has ended months of speculation about his future at the club, receiving an updated deal. However, the contract’s length remains the same and a few questions are still unanswered.
Conte helped Chelsea win the Premier League in spectacular fashion, with the team coming on top in one of the most toughly disputed seasons in recent years. Given the team’s lack of results in the season prior to Conte joining the team, it was only natural the club’s representatives would want assurances that the manager was not going anywhere.
“At the moment, my situation is very clear. I have two more years’ contract with the club,” Conte told reporters at the end of last season, leaving fans feeling assured about the immediate future. The Italian even seemed to entertain the idea of extending his contract further if given the chance.“Then, if the club give me the possibility to stay here and to extend my contract, for sure I am available to do this.”
But in the period immediately following their Premier League triumph, rumors circulated that Conte was unhappy. Having been tremendously successful in Italy with Juventus and already adding the job of Italy manager to his resume, Conte is certainly not a manager lacking offers. Inter, a team which just as their Milan counterparts are making important investments, was said to be ready to offer whatever price was asked of them to have Conte join their side.
In recent weeks Chelsea got two important players, Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko, improvements Conte had long been asking about. Chelsea is expected to perform at the same level as they did last year, but their rivals are improving their squads. Naturally, their manager would expect the same thing of his team.
Chelsea have confirmed that they have come to an agreement with the manager, a new contract is in place and the team is keeping its initial plans for the new season. The contract does, however, not add time to Conte’s contract with the manager set to remain at the club for two years, the same period the previous agreement offered. The Italian gets some of the squad improvements he was asking for, although far from all. Two compatriots are added to his staff, Paolo Vanoli and Davide Mazzotta. He will also unlikely have to deal with striker Diego Costa, who as efficient as he was for Chelsea, was also a big headache for Conte.
The announcement is set to give the impression of security at Chelsea. However, there are quite a few things that remain unclear. Going ahead with good results, as Chelsea enjoyed last year, is usually enough to solve most club problems.