Antonio Conte strengthens hand with new contract – reports

Antonio Conte is set to sign a new deal at Chelsea, according to reports in Italian media.

The secrets of success in Conte’s second season
Despite winning the Premier League in his first season in charge, Conte’s future has been the subject of continued speculation in recent months.

There had been suggestions that the former Juventus and Italy coach was unhappy with what he sees as a lack of activity in the transfer market, and could consider his future.

The 47-year-old former Italy midfielder signed a three-year deal last summer upon taking charge at Stamford Bridge, but is now expected to put pen to paper on a new deal, according to Sky Italia.

Conte is said to have met Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia in Italy on Sunday to thrash out the details of a new £10 million-per-year deal.

This is undoubtedly good news. Despite the FA Cup final loss to Arsenal, Conte’s appointment as Chelsea boss has been an unmitigated success. He has reinvigorated a side that had looked on its last legs under Jose Mourinho.

Yet, to sign a new deal one year into a three-year arrangement could point to underlying issues.

There has been consistent speculation that Conte has been left nonplussed by what he sees as a lack of activity in the market. Furthermore, there have been rumours that the new contract could see the Italian have more say over transfer policy (as well as handsomely increasing his wages).

If there has been a behind-the-scenes power struggle, it would appear Conte has won it.

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