Chelsea confident Antonio Conte will renew contract as he prepares for talks with Roman Abramovich

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Antonio Conte is due to hold talks with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, with the Premier League champions optimistic that the Italian will extend his contract.

Claims emerged from Italy last week that Conte was considering his future regarding Chelsea’s transfer strategy and a desire to have greater power.

As reported by Telegraph Sport, Conte will be fighting a losing battle if he tries to take full control at Stamford Bridge but there have since been positive conversations between the head coach and club officials.

Now Conte will speak to Abramovich regarding this summer and the future, when it is hoped that, barring any unreasonable demands from the 47-year-old, a contract extension will finally be agreed.

While the talks are not expected to be decisive to Conte’s immediate future, as Chelsea have maintained they expect the former Italy manager to start the new season as head coach, they could shape how smoothly he and the club progress forward together.

Abramovich made an offer to make Conte the highest-paid manager in Chelsea’s history, on £9.6million-a-year, after last season’s Premier League title success.

The Russian billionaire is willing to back Conte in this summer’s transfer window with an outlay that is set to exceed £200m, but will not change the club’s structure or strategy.

Conte is also likely to be reminded that a repeat of the text message he sent to Diego Costa to tell the striker he is no longer in his plans did not adhere to club protocol.
As part of any positive conclusion to discussions, Conte will have to accept that he is not the only voice at the club on transfers and that he will have to be patient while targets are pursued.

Chelsea are confident they will land striker Romelu Lukaku and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, while they are chasing Juventus left-back Alex Sandro and hold an interest in Riyad Mahrez and Ross Barkley. The fact Leonardo Bonucci could be sold by Juventus may test how far Abramovich is willing to back his head coach.

Conte would love to sign the central defender, but any deal will cost more than £50m for the 30-year-old. Willy Caballero is due to complete a free transfer switch to become Chelsea’s new back-up goalkeeper once his Manchester City contract formally expires on June 30.

Caballero has already started speaking with some of the players he believes will be his new team-mates about life at Stamford Bridge.

 

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