Monday March 21 2016
Conte: ‘I could stay in Italy…’

Antonio Conte denies he’s already signed for Chelsea - “we’ll see what the future holds, in Italy or abroad”.

The Azzurri CT has already announced he’s standing down after Euro 2016, and is seemingly certain to move to the English Premier League.

However, in a Press conference ahead of the international friendlies against Spain and Germany the Coach insisted no decision has been taken.

“Chelsea? It’s not a taboo for me, but I could talk about Italian teams too,” Conte insisted.

“At the moment my thoughts and my pain are reserved for a choice [leaving the national team] that is not superficial and without heartache.

“I’ve taken the choice, and now we’ll see what the future holds, if there’s something beautiful in Italy or abroad. These choices are never taken lightly.

“What’s certain is that I won’t be CT for the next two years, my intention is to return to a club.

“After the Euro qualifiers, I was filled with satisfaction in seeing a group which was doing what I had asked.

“At that time I considered whether there was a chance to continue, but four months went past and it was very hard.

"To go four months without working and then think about another two years like that…

“It was difficult from that point of view. You have to understand where you’re happy, I’d have had a hard time staying in the garage.

"You can't get the smell of the pitch. You have to be objective, and understand that there are times when being CT is a millstone. It was for [Cesare] Prandelli, and it will be for the next person.

"The Premier League? I think the English national team is very strong too, just look at the qualifying campaign they had.

"English football is definitely very attractive at the moment for players and Coaches, not least because it's a very interesting League from many points of view."

Conte was then asked about his relationship with the Lega Serie A, having asked for and been denied extra training camps.

“I’ve said it clearly, this is not a goodbye to Italian football. I grew up here, and I played here. I won and I lost, I had satisfaction and pain.

“It’s inevitable that I’ll assess what can happen in the future.

“I understand that some situations have changed, I’m sorry that everything is seen as being for or against Conte - the national team is for everyone, not only me.”