Antonio Conte claims he would be more than willing to extend his contract with Chelsea as he bids to lay down roots at Stamford Bridge. The flamboyant Italian has enjoyed a sensational first campaign in English football, taking a demoralised Blues side to the cusp of a potential domestic double, endearing himself to supporters and neutrals alike with his infectious enthusiasm.
Much like Tottenham Hotspur counterpart Mauricio Pochettino and other high-profile managers including Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone and Luciano Spalletti of Roma, such excellent work has seen Conte become subject of sustained interest from Inter Milan.
The Nerazzurri, now majority owned by Chinese retailers Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd, sacked Stefano Pioli after just six months in charge earlier on May and it was subsequently reported by The Sun that they were willing to pay Conte £12.5m a year to lure him away from West London after only one season. He is only believed to earn £6.5m annually at Chelsea.
The 47-year-old has already proved his managerial prowess in his native country, winning Serie B with Bari and leading Siena to promotion before winning three consecutive top-flight titles with former club Juventus and guiding an unfancied Italy side to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016. However, he appears to have no imminent desire to return home and hopes to remain at Chelsea for the long haul.
"At the moment my situation is very clear," he said at a press conference held prior to Saturday's (27 May) FA Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. "I have a two-year contract with the club. If they give me the possibility to stay and extend, for sure I'm available to do this. We have the same ideas about the future in terms of improving the squad and the team. I'm happy with this season, I'm happy to stay here and I want to stay here for many years."
On compatriot and former Chelsea striker/manager Gianluca Vialli's call to mirror Sir Alex Ferguson and stay with one club for 25+ years, he added: "It would be great to do this. For a coach, that's the best solution – to stay for a long time at the same club and build, with the club, something important. But modern football is dangerous. Our job depends a lot on the results. The only way to convince the club I should stay a long time is to work very hard with my players."
While they still have the cup final to come, Conte revealed that planning for next season is already underway at Chelsea and that he and the club share the "same point of view" in terms of future direction.
"For sure we'll try to strengthen our squad because we have to face an important competition in the Champions League," he said, per The Mirror.