Speculation over Antonio Conte's future takes fresh twist

Conte was rumoured to be on the brink of leaving Chelsea
Conte was rumoured to be on the brink of leaving Chelsea

Chelsea are hopeful that manager Antonio Conte will sign a new contract in the coming days after positive talks were held between both parties.

Reports in Conte's native Italy suggested he was close to walking away from Chelsea last week, amid growing frustration over his lack of influence with the clubs scouting network and transfer policy.

Yet Sky Italy are reporting that Conte is prepared to stay at Chelsea after all, following a fresh round of discussions over a new deal following his triumphant first season at the club.

Conte's Premier League title success last month was secured using a thread bear squad and the tactician has made it clear that he needs to bolster his resources ahead of the club's return to the Champions League next season.

The latest reports suggest Conte is looking to sign six new players this summer, with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku believed to be at the top of his wanted list as he looks to resolve a striker crisis that would develop if Diego Costa leaves the club.

Chelsea officials were reported to be furious that Conte told Costa via text that he was no long part of his plans, in a move that depreciated the striker's value in the transfer market.

Yet the word emerging from Conte's camp suggests he is willing to work within Chelsea's current set-up, as he looks to extend the current contract he has at the club that is due to run until the summer of 2019.