Chelsea have reportedly told Sky Sports that speculation suggesting that Antonio Conte is set to leave the club are completely untrue.
The suggestion that the Italian tactician could leave Stamford Bridge just seven games into the Premier League season gathered pace on Thursday when two bookmakers suspended betting on him departing.
However, according to Sky Sports, Conte is preparing his side for their game against Leicester City on Saturday as normal, and Chelsea have informed them that there is no foundation in the claims that he was on the verge of leaving.
While the former Juventus and Italy boss has a contract with Chelsea until 2019, he has experienced a mixed start to life in England having begun the season with three consecutive wins.
Defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal have since followed as question marks have been raised about Conte’s defence, but ultimately it seems a bit extreme to suggest that results are behind the rumours.
It’s added by Sky Sports that no reported emergency meetings between Conte and owner Roman Abramovich took place after the disappointing defeat to Liverpool, with suggestions that the Italian coach was upset with the failure to sign his preferred targets in the summer.
Chelsea eventually ended the summer transfer window with Michy Batshuayi, N’Golo Kante, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso signing for the club, and until January at least, Conte will have to find a way to make it work with the players currently at his disposal before possibly dipping back into the market to improve the squad.
Rumours of a possible exit have now been dismissed, but it will certainly be a concern for some Chelsea fans that the claim was put out there so soon into Conte’s tenure as results will now likely be key in either moving on or adding strength to the suggestion.