After guiding Chelsea to the Premier League title, manager Antonio Conte is ringing the bell, literally, of one ardent “suitor.’’
A lucrative contract has been dangled by Serie A club Inter Milan to acquire him as their boss and turn his back on the Blues.
Chelsea won the English top-tier tournament with Conte masterminding the title coup in his first stint at Stamford Bridge.
We wonder whether he’ll ponder about leaving the London club and instead go back to his native Italy.
But like a pesky fly, Inter are moving heaven and earth to lure Conte to their club.
Even though Chelsea told the Italian club their chance of prising Conte away is nil, the latter keep on making the latter as their top target as bench tactician.
Reports in Italy earlier said that Roma manager Luciano Spalletti is also being eyed at Inter but that would only materialize when all else fail in their pursuit of Conte.
The 47-year-old Conte, who suited up for Lecce and Juventus as a midfielder during his playing years, is not being affected by Inter’s somewhat annoying move – imagine getting a phone call three times in the last 10 days?
It is very clear at the moment that Conte’s heart and mind belong to Chelsea.
He admitted that his players’ openness to accept his work contributed greatly in their success.
“I found great men, and really good players at Chelsea,’’ he revealed.
And in a hint that could mean he is shutting down any offer from Inter, he said:` “I have a contract with Chelsea, for two years. It is logical when you start the work in a new club, the will is to continue to work for many years. For sure this is my will.’’
So instead of dipping his thoughts on Inter, he is extremely focusing on handing the Blues another silverware in his debut season.
Also, he is at present convincing Chelsea big bosses to keep Diego Costa at all cost, calling the striker an “irreplaceable’’ player at the club after Costa has been linked to a move to the Chinese Super League.
But that is another story.
On May 28, the Blues aim to add to their collection when they target the FA Cup crown against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.
Arsenal are bent on claiming the trophy after failing to claim a ticket to the Champions League, but Conte and his mighty men are ready for the challenge.
A win in the FA Cup will put the complete icing on Conte’s victory cake this season.