Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has started planning for life after Conte and prepared a four-man shortlist as a multi-million standoff with the Italian continues
It is safe to say that Chelsea’s season has not gone the way that Roman Abramovich expected. The club owner was eyeing huge things for the Blues on the back of a Premier League campaign. However, dissent in the ranks has thrown Chelsea’s season into disarray.
With just six weeks remaining until season’s end, FA Cup remains their only chance at silverware while they are all but sure to miss out on Champions League next season. All blame has fallen squarely on manager Antonio Conte’s shoulders whose constant complains regarding the club’s transfer dealings has led him into hot water with the club officials.
Express is reporting that the only thing stopping Abramovich from sacking Conte is the £9.5 million he will have to cough up as a compensation for the Italian. Conte signed a new contract on the back of last season’s title-winning campaign increasing his wages in the process but did not extend his stay.
The former Juventus boss currently earns around £182,000-a-week. Should Abramovich sack Conte, the lay off will be substantial as his backroom staff – a team of nine – will also be sent packing.
According to a clause in the Italian’s contract, he is entitled to be paid for up to a year until he secures another job. Though that might not be the case as Paris Saint-Germain are hot favourites for his signatures if and when he leaves Chelsea.
Now, Chelsea owner has started looking ahead to the next season and prepared a shortlist of who could replace the outgoing manager. Treble-winning manager Luis Enrique is favourite for the job but ex-Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel and Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri are also in the running. Meanwhile, Max Allegri’s latest comments on his future have also alerted Abramovich.
Conte’s departure is likely to herald a summer of upheaval at the Stamford Bridge. Top stars like Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Gary Cahill and David Luiz could follow suit and bring an end to their Chelsea career with neither of them committing their future with the club and stalling on the new deals offered by the club.
Antonio Conte leaving Chelsea at the end of the season seems the only plausible option right now. Recent results have not helped in getting him a stay of execution. With several high-profile managers targeted, it is likely that Abramovich is gearing up for an overhaul in the summer starting with the leadership in the dugout.
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