September 26, 2017

Chelsea worried as Conte delays new deal

Antonio Conte’s contract talks have stalled, fuelling fears about his future, reports thesun.co.uk.

The Chelsea boss was expected to sign a new contract after winning the Premier League, but he is yet to put pen to paper. One obstacle has been whether he gets a new four-year deal — worth £9.6 million per year – or a shorter contract.

Conte’s stock is high after he stormed to the title in his first season at Stamford Bridge. However, there are fears he is becoming increasingly unhappy.

The Italian is believed to be frustrated with the Blues’ summer transfer business. Chelsea did get Germany centre-back Antonio Rudiger, back-up keeper Willy Caballero and Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, who arrived for £40m on Saturday.

But Conte lost out to rivals rivals Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku and the Blues are still looking to bolster their attack. Another of Conte’s targets, classy Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, at the weekend made a shock £37m switch to AC Milan.

And there were reports Chelsea’s final £61m bid for full-back Alex Sandro was rejected by Juve. Inter Milan were linked with boss Conte before appointing Luciano Spalletti this summer — with Italian media outlets reporting unrest behind the scenes at Chelsea.

Conte, 46, has returned to the pre-season tour but there has been no breakthrough on the new deal, which was expected to be agreed by now.

He is then off to the Far East this week for matches with Arsenal in Beijing and Bayern Munich in Singapore. Chelsea will then have just a week before the Community Shield against FA Cup winners Arsenal.

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