Antonio Conte has suggested that a move to Chelsea isn’t guaranteed by claiming that he is still assessing his options ahead of the summer.
FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio revealed earlier this month that the current Italy boss would be leaving his position when his contract expired after Euro 2016.
With widespread speculation suggesting that a move to Stamford Bridge was a mere formality, Conte has cast doubt over the switch by claiming that he doesn’t know whether he will coach in Italy or abroad next as of yet.
“Chelsea? It’s not a taboo for me, but I could talk about Italian teams too,” Conte insisted in a press conference on Monday, as reported by Football Italia.
“At the moment my thoughts and my pain are reserved for a choice [leaving the national team] that is not superficial and without heartache.
“I’ve taken the choice, and now we’ll see what the future holds, if there’s something beautiful in Italy or abroad. These choices are never taken lightly. What’s certain is that I won’t be CT for the next two years, my intention is to return to a club.
“The Premier League? I think the English national team is very strong too, just look at the qualifying campaign they had.
“English football is definitely very attractive at the moment for players and Coaches, not least because it’s a very interesting League from many points of view.”
Given that it was seemingly a done deal that the former Juventus boss would become Jose Mourinho’s long-term successor in west London, as suggested by The Sun, his latest comments will come as a shock to many.
While the assumption is that he has perhaps moved to try and quell talk of his future as he prepares the Azzurri for this summer’s tournament in France, it could well be a clever ploy from the Italian who will likely come under pressure if things start to go wrong.
It would come as no surprise if a deal with Chelsea is still announced sooner rather than later. Until that moment though, Conte has a job to do and has left the media guessing when perhaps an official confirmation of his next move would be a better strategy to allow him to focus on the task in hand.