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Antonio Conte delivers clear message on Chelsea future amid speculation of Italy return

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has insisted that he intends on staying at Stamford Bridge to fulfil his contract with the club for another 18 months at least.

The Italian tactician enjoyed a stellar first campaign in England, winning the Premier League title with the Blues although they did fall short in the FA Cup.

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Nevertheless, it was a positive start to life as a Premier League boss, and he would undoubtedly have hoped that it would continue on an upward trajectory from that point.

However, this season has been a different story. Aside from being 18 points adrift of league leaders Manchester City, Chelsea are now fourth in the standings and just two points above fifth-placed Tottenham as the battle for a top-four finish heats up.

Poor results on the pitch, including a 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth in midweek, have been paired with off-the-field suggestions that all is not well for the Chelsea boss, with the Metro noting he has been linked with the Italy job in recent days.

Conte has now addressed those rumours though, and it’s good news for the Blues faithful hoping that he stays in west London for the foreseeable future.

“I still have 18 months on my contract with Chelsea,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports.

“My desire is to respect this contract. From the start of the season, there is a lot of speculation and rumours around me. I think this. I still have an 18 month contract at Chelsea, my desire is to stay here.”

While that clears up his intentions, naturally results will determine whether or not he gets the chance to stay at Chelsea for as long as he desires.

Having signed Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri in the January transfer window, the former Juventus and Italy boss will undoubtedly hope the club did enough to help him achieve their objectives.

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