Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is seen as increasingly unlikely to remain in charge of the club next season after a disastrous campaign that will almost certainly result in missing Champions League qualification, but Stamford Bridge officials are reportedly ‘reluctant’ to sack the Italian.
Chelsea slipped 10 points adrift of fourth place with a disappointing draw against West Ham on Sunday and Conte was even sacked by Twitter on Monday before sense and truth was restored.
The Italian, who delivered the Premier League title in record breaking fashion last season, still has another year left on his contract and that is where the problems begin.
Despite ongoing frustrations, particularly where transfer policy has been concerned, Conte is seemingly unwilling to walk away of his own accord. It was even alleged that he was daring the Chelsea board to sack him during the recent defeat at Tottenham after replacing record signing Alvaro Morata with a teenage league debutant when the team were chasing the game.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea would prefer not to sack Conte to avoid having to pay up what is left of his lucrative £9m per year contract for breaking it prematurely.
The club is said to believe that Conte would not be short of offers – Paris Saint-Germain are just one suitor to have been linked with an approach – if he was to resign, thus sparing them a costly payoff.
Despite an increasing number of Chelsea fans seemingly wishing Conte gone immediately over fears the players will now coast until the end of the season, it doesn’t look as though this one will be resolved until the summer.