Chelsea’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte (C) lifts the trophy as Chelsea players celebrate their win after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London on May 19, 2018. Chelsea won the game 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK /
Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has called for “the uncertainty to be put to bed” over the future of Antonio Conte, with the Italian widely expected to be on his way out of the club.
The Blues beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday as Conte won his second trophy in English football after capturing the Premier League title in his first campaign.
The former Italy and Juventus manager has been embroiled in a turbulent campaign marred by his feud with the club’s hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans.
Conte is also said to have infuriated several Chelsea stars with his intense personality and regimented training sessions.
Cahill believes a decision must be made one way or the other so Chelsea, whose fifth-placed finish in the Premier League means they miss out on Champions League football next season, can prepare for the new campaign.
Asked what it would take for the Blues to move on and make the necessary close-season preparations, Cahill said: “Probably for the uncertainty to be put to bed and for whatever’s going to happen to happen.
“It’s out of our hands. We have to try to deliver on the pitch. We fell short in some aspects this season but (on Saturday) we produced. The rest behind the scenes is not down to us.”
Conte signed an improved contract last summer, but not an extension, to his three-year deal that expires in June 2019.
And after winning the FA Cup the Italian said he “can’t change” and is a “serial winner”, effectively calling for the club, owned by Roman Abramovich, to back him or sack him.
“All I can say is it’s been a great finish,” said Cahill. “If the manager stays on next year, he stays on.
“If he doesn’t, he’s gone away with a Premier League and FA Cup. I think that’s something everyone at the club can be proud of. We really had to win this game to save the season.”