London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has insisted he will honour his contract with the Premier League leaders after reports linking him with a move to Inter Milan.
Conte, previously impressive while in charge of Italy and Juventus, has guided the Blues into a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League following a slump last season that saw them finish 10th.
However, this week saw reports suggesting he could return to Italy, where his wife and daughter have stayed while his daughter completes the current school year.
But Conte, who started a three-year contract in July, said Friday: “My situation is very clear.
“I have a contract with Chelsea. We are trying to do something important with the club, for the present, for the future.
“Every coach, when you start work with a new club, you hope to stay many, many years, because it means you are working very well.
“You have the possibility to improve your players, to improve your team and to grow together.”
The 46-year-old, whose side face London rivals West Ham on Monday, added: “The only problem for me this season is the family is missing me.
“My family stay in Italy and I’m working, I’m working for the future to try to bring them here and to stay together.”
The last two Premier League title-winning managers — Jose Mourinho (Chelsea) and Claudio Ranieri (Leicester) were both sacked the following season but Conte said he was well aware of the hazards of a manager’s life.
“The story tells this, but I’m not worried about this,” Conte said. “With my players I want to work, to work very hard. I trust a lot in my work and I think we have to continue in this way to work very hard and to try to do something important also in this season, because we are in the right position and we have the possibility to continue in this way.
Monday’s fixure at West Ham is the final match in the upcoming round of Premier League fixtures, so Chelsea will know exactly here they stand in relation to their title rivals by the time they kick-off.
“For sure, we want to try to take three points in this game,” said Conte. “We will know the other results of the other teams. (There will be) positive or negative pressure, but we are ready to play this game.”