Antonio Conte and Chelsea clash again, this time over pre-season plans.

According to a report from one of the UK's broadsheet newspapers and a respected journalist, Antonio Conte and the Chelsea board have...

According to a report from one of the UK's broadsheet newspapers and a respected journalist, Antonio Conte and the Chelsea board have clashed this week over pre-season plans. 

Matt Hughes, the Times Deputy Football Correspondent has published the article today stating that with Antonio Conte preparing to come back to London this weekend and start Chelsea's pre-season on Monday, the club had sent the players not involved in the World Cup a communication asking them to come back on Saturday instead. 

It's believed that the club had asked the players to report to Cobham this coming weekend to have their fitness assessed ahead of the new pre-season campaign which is a strange move considering that the schedule would have been agreed and decided upon at the end of last season. 

Hughes has stated that Antonio Conte responded to the request made by a member of our technical staff with a firm retort to state that he does not want the players back until Monday as he has prepared the whole pre-season schedule whilst being back in Italy this summer. It adds that it was a similar response from Conte to that he made to Diego Costa who had asked for an additional four days off last summer to which Antonio Conte then stated that he was no longer part of his plans. 

This latest development for me is a sign that we could be faced with a nightmare season ahead of us in what is just as important as it was two years ago when Conte first took over. We need to get ourselves sorted out and back into the Champions League as the minimum. To do that we need a happy household which by these reports, does not appear to be the case despite both parties having the whole summer break to sit down and sort things out. As a result, Chelsea would find themselves classed as outsiders for the top four this coming season with online betting on football.

The general consensus regarding Antonio Conte and his Chelsea future is that he is determined to see out the remainder of his contract. The article that forms the basis of this post has stated that when Conte signed a new upgraded contract last summer, it included certain stipulations with one being that if he was to leave the club before it expired to take over a new club, Chelsea would be bound by the terms of the contract to make up the difference in salary if the new role was to pay less money. 

It also states that Chelsea had hoped that the likes of PSG, Real Madrid and Italy would come calling for Conte and would have come to an agreement to take over his contract. All three positions are now filled and the Italian remains in charge despite the fact that he believes the club want rid of him. 

With the summer transfer window closing ahead of the first Premier League game of the season and some of our key players being involved in the World Cup to this weekend at least, you would have thought that the club would have been active by now with the manager and playing staff as I had stated here this week. We have seen literally nothing and continue to read speculation on a daily basis. 

You have to say that if this report is correct and does have real substance about it (I see no reason why it wouldn't be), then it's a staggering move and a sign of disrespect for our current head-coach who has had to put up with reading all sorts of speculation regarding his future ever since we lost our first game at home to Burnley last season to the current day. 

If the club do not want Antonio Conte to remain in charge then they MUST do something about it sooner rather than later. If they are happy for him to see out his contract this season then an official statement should be released to end all the speculation. 

The thing is, Chelsea know what they are doing, they have never let us down before and we know that Roman Abramovich has always had what he believes to be Chelsea's best interests in mind. I just hope that whatever that means right now can be sorted out sooner rather than later because if it isn't, it will have a real detrimental effect on our season before it's even started. 

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