Premier League: Antonio Conte backed for Chelsea stay amid Inter talk by outgoing assistant Steve Holland
The Italian coach has been linked with a return to Serie A, but his right-hand man in a Premier League title-winning campaign expects him to remain
Antonio Conte is unlikely to leave Premier League champions Chelsea for a return to Serie A, says Steve Holland.
The Italian has been linked with a move back to his homeland after just one season in England.
He has, however, enjoyed a productive 12 months at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea falling narrowly short in their efforts to secure a league and FA Cup double.
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The Blues are now preparing for life back in the Champions League and Holland, who is leaving the club to take on a full-time role with England, is confident stability in the dugout will be maintained, regardless of reported interest from Inter.
Conte’s outgoing assistant told talkSPORT: “The speculation is normal when a manager has had the success that Antonio has had.
“When you think back to the success he had at Juventus and the great job he did with Italy in the last European Championship and add to that the success he has had in his first season in England, it is normal that there will be attention.
“There has been a lot of Chinese money that has gone into Inter so it is a club that whoever is at the helm will start to make significant progress and challenge more than they have done in recent years.
“It is a natural consequence, but I would be very surprised if Antonio isn’t at Chelsea next season.”
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Conte did tell television show Emigratis in April when asked if he intended to return to Serie A at some stage: “Yes. My heart is always in Italy.”
He did, however, give no timescale on those plans and committed to a three-year contract upon his arrival at Chelsea.