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Conte hopeful on Chelsea future

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Conte hopeful on Chelsea future

By Michael Cantillon

Last Updated: 26/05/17 3:09pm

Antonio Conte says he is hopeful of remaining at Chelsea for a long time

Antonio Conte hopes he will remain in charge of Chelsea for a long time, but admits it will be difficult to do so given the climate of modern football.

Two weeks ago, Conte conceded he wanted Chelsea to recognise his “real value” should he lead the club to the Premier League title in his first season in charge.

Having achieved that aim, the Blues are now targeting a league and cup double as they face Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer on a three-year contract through to 2019, but has frequently been linked with a return to Italy with Inter Milan keen to hire him.

The Italian had spoken two weeks ago of his wish for Chelsea to reward his 'real value'

The Italian had spoken two weeks ago of his wish for Chelsea to reward his 'real value'

The Italian had spoken two weeks ago of his wish for Chelsea to reward his ‘real value’

Conte admitted on Friday though that, should he be presented the chance, he would stay at Chelsea for the foreseeable future.

“The best solution for a coach is to stay at a club for a long time and build something important,” Conte said.

“I have two years [on my] contract with the club. Then if they give me the possibility to stay, I’m available to do this.

“The club and I have the same idea for the future; to improve the squad and the team. We have to finish this season but we’ve started to work for next season.”

Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his maiden season in England

Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his maiden season in England

Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his maiden season in England

Conte’s current deal is reported to be worth £6.5m a year, far less than the reported amounts for each of his rivals.

Pep Guardiola is said to be earning £15m a year with Manchester City, while Jose Mourinho (£13m) and Arsene Wenger (£8m) also earn considerably more than Conte at Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.

Former Chelsea forward and manager Gianluca Vialli said this week that he hopes Conte will remain at the club for 25 years, and while Conte admitted he would be interested in the same, he also highlighted how difficult this would be.

“It would be great to do this but in modern football it’s very difficult to stay for a long time at the same club,” he added.

Conte has been regularly linked with moves back to Italy this season

Conte has been regularly linked with moves back to Italy this season

Conte has been regularly linked with moves back to Italy this season

“Modern football is very dangerous and our job depends on results.

“The only way I know to try and convince the club that I can stay for a long time is to work very hard with my players, but for sure it’s my hope.”

The 47-year-old will come up against the top flight’s current longest-serving manager in Wenger this weekend and, after a season of disappointment for the Gunners, it has yet to be confirmed whether the Frenchman will remain in charge at the Emirates Stadium beyond the summer.

Saturday's FA Cup final could be Arsene Wenger's last in charge of Arsenal, though Conte thinks he will stay on

Saturday's FA Cup final could be Arsene Wenger's last in charge of Arsenal, though Conte thinks he will stay on

Saturday’s FA Cup final could be Arsene Wenger’s last in charge of Arsenal, though Conte thinks he will stay on

Conte does not believe Saturday’s game will be Wenger’s last though, and praised the Arsenal boss for the work he has done over the last two decades.

“I don’t trust that tomorrow will be the last game for Arsene,” Conte added. “I think he deserves to work with Arsenal because he’s shown in this 20 years to be a great manager. He’s done a great job.

“Only this year Arsenal missed out on the Champions League. For 19 years they played in this competition and this shows his work.”

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