'Incredible success' in first year earns Conte better deal

Chelsea's Italian manager Antonio Conte as he celebrates on the pitch at the end of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge in London, on May 15, 2017.
Chelsea's Italian manager Antonio Conte as he celebrates on the pitch at the end of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge in London, on May 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has finally put pen to paper on a new contract at Stamford Bridge, even though the Italian has not extended his commitment to the club beyond the next two years.

No terms of the deal were disclosed but British press reports have said that the new contract improved the terms of the remaining two years left on the three-year deal the 47-year-old signed when he joined the London club last year.

The deal was confirmed as Conte, who guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in charge, prepares to take his squad on a pre-season tour of Asia, which includes matches in Singapore against German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on July 25 and Inter Milan on July 29.

"I am very happy to have signed a new contract with Chelsea," he said in a statement on the club's official website.

"We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing, which I am very proud of. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top."

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said the contract rewarded the "incredible success" the team had enjoyed in Conte's first season.

"This new contract reflects our belief that he can continue to deliver results both domestically and as we return to European competition in the Champions League," she said in a statement.


    Thibaut Courtois, Willy Caballero, Eduardo, Marcin Bulka, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Andreas Christensen, Tomas Kalas, Jake Clarke-Salter, Fikayo Tomori, Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, N'Golo Kante, Mario Pasalic, Lewis Baker, Kyle Scott, Pedro, Willian, Kenedy, Charly Musonda Jr, Jeremie Boga, Michy Batshuayi, Loic Remy.


    Tommaso Berni, Samir Handanovic, Daniele Padelli, Marco Pissardo, Cristian Ansald, Danilo D'Ambrosio, Joao Miranda, Jeison Murillo, Yuto Nagatomo, Andrea Ranocchia, Milan Skriniar, Zinho Vanheusden, Federico Valietti, Iglesias Borja Valero, Marcelo Brozovic, Xian Emmers, Roberto Gagliardini, Naval da Costa Joao Mario, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Rigoberto Rivas, Gabriel Barbosa, Jonathan Biabiany, Antonio Candreva, Eder Citadin Martins, Mauro Icardi, Stevan Jovetic, Ivan Perisic, Andrea Pinamonti.

"Since arriving in west London, his passion, tactical acumen and winning mentality have endeared him to Chelsea supporters all over the world and we look forward to further triumphs with Antonio at the helm."

Conte's coaching staff has been augmented by the arrival of two more Italians, with Paolo Vanoli joining as an assistant to the first team head coach and Davide Mazzotta working as assistant/player analysis.

The contract boost for Conte comes amid reports that the Italian has grown frustrated with Chelsea's inability to reinforce their squad.

The club had long been linked to a move for striker Romelu Lukaku but saw the Belgian international join Manchester United instead.

Conte had also reportedly been keen on Juventus duo Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro, and have already missed out on the former, who moved to AC Milan.

The Blues have so far signed Willy Caballero from Manchester City, Antonio Rudiger from Roma and Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

Singapore fans will be able to see star players like Thibaut Courtois, David Luiz, N'Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas in action after the club confirmed their 25-man squad for the International Champions Cup (ICC) to be played at the National Stadium.

Caballero and Rudiger will also be in Singapore wearing their new colours but reports say Bakayoko will miss the trip owing to his recovery from a knee problem.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2017, with the headline ''Incredible success' in first year earns Conte better deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe