Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has laughed off rumours suggesting he is about to be sacked. A flurry of bets was recently placed on the 47-year-old Italian losing his job at Stamford Bridge – but Conte has insisted he was baffled by the speculation.
Speaking ahead of the Blues' Premier League clash against Leicester City, Conte was happy to joke about the rumours. "I'm trying to find who put the money on!" Conte quipped during his pre-match press conference, according to the BBC.
"It's very difficult to talk about this situation because I am focused on my work to improve the team. I have a good relationship with the team so I take this with a smile."
Meanwhile, Conte confirmed Chelsea captain John Terry will be available for the game at Stamford Bridge after recovering from an ankle injury. However, the Blues boss refused to confirm whether Terry would be returned to the starting line up. "I prefer not to give away the line-up. I'll try to take the best decision for the team," the Chelsea boss explained.
On the flip side, Chelsea will be without the services of Brazilian midfielder Willian for the visit of Leicester following the death of his mother. "For Willian we are very sad, we are very close to our players and are thoughts are with him," Conte said.
The Chelsea manager also revealed he is looking forward to facing fellow Italian Claudio Ranieri, the Leicester City boss. Conte admitted he felt proud of his countryman for his odds-defying Premier League win earlier this year.
"I was very happy, not only me but the Italian people that Claudio won a fantastic title," he said. "He had a great celebration in Italy. He is a good manager, a good man and I have a good relationship with him. Always it is a pleasure for me to talk with him."