Sport Bild sparked off a furious debate in the media today as the German outlet reported that Chelsea are set to replace Antonio Conte with Thomas Tuchel.
The rumor was dismissed in a few hours, anyway SkySport journalist and Premier League expert Massimo Marianella was quizzed about the future of Conte.
He said: “Conte managed to thrill fans and players, but not Chelsea board. I am not surprised (about Antonio Conte’s exit rumors in German newspaper Sport Bild) and I believe [Thomas] Tuchel is the best manager available on the market at this stage”.
“I can’t say Conte is set to be sacked, but he has an evident problem with the board. He asked to leave the club this summer but Abramovich does not accept resignation, moreover his squad has not been strengthened so far: four departures, four signings, the team is not better than last year. Will they give him two players until the Deadline Day? Maybe, but the problem would remain”.
Then he recalled Conte’s first transfer requests last summer: “When he came from Italy asked for signings but he got just [N’Golo] Kante, in January he lost players like Ivanovic and Oscar, then he won the Premier League but things did not change. It seems that Chelsea are picking up the bits on transfer market and Abramovich is the one who makes decisions because he wants to. Marina Granoviskaia asserts her authority with Conte but she’s doing the dirty work for Abramovich himself”.
Conte has recently signed a new and improved contract with Chelsea: “A further aspect to be considered: Conte did not extend his deal, which has been raised with add-ons and clauses. Conte will receive a fee in the region of €30m if he’s sacked. The unrest among Chelsea players? Diego Costa is in Brazil now, he was the problem and the rest of the squad showed their commitment and followed Conte for his charm and talent. There are no more players against him”.
Then Marianella ended: “If Conte was sacked, who would tell Chelsea fans he was sent away for ambition and desire to sign players and strengthen his squad. It wouldn’t be easy”.