Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Courtois sends message to Chelsea board over Conte future

Alexis Sanchez GETTY Alexis Sanchez scored his first goal for Man Utd on Saturday
Kristopher Love | 08 February, 2018, 09:36

Conte appeared to invite the club to sack him following Monday's 4-1 defeat at Watford - their third loss in four games, and part of a longer sequence of just two wins in 10. Carlo Ancelotti was sacked a year after winning a league and cup double.

Others who have also been linked with the Chelsea job, according to various reports, are Frank Lampard, Zinedine Zidane, Brendan Rodgers, Maurizio Sarri, Diego Simeone and Massimiliano Allegri.

The Premier League champions' rapid decline since the turn of the year has left their top-four place in jeopardy ahead of a run of big games, which includes a European tie against Barcelona.

The three-year deal Conte began in July 2016 was not extended, merely improved.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois accused Deulofeu of diving over his body to win a first-half penalty, converted by Watford captain Troy Deeney to give his side the lead.

"They did it with [Andre] Villas-Boas, [Roberto] Di Matteo, [Jose] Mourinho as well".

"It's naive to think the Chelsea players aren't impacted by all the speculation and uncertainty around Conte".

On top of that, Nemanja Matic was sold to league rivals Manchester United for a figure of £40million without the permission of the gaffer. Michy Batshuayi was allowed join Borussia Dortmund on loan, after failing to convince his manager at Stamford Bridge.

"Are the players letting the coach down? No. In this type of moment you can see who is (made) for a great club, to play with personality to risk something". But, again, things may change if the next few results don't go well. But, considering various reports in England have claimed that Chelsea have not identified Conte's successor, it's probably worth taking this particular story with a pinch of salt.

Here, Press Association Sport have taken a look at what has gone wrong for Conte's Blues this season.

While Chelsea's meeting with Barca in the Champions League has always been held up as a season-defining moment, defeats to the two Manchester clubs could see the Blues fall as low as sixth in the table. At Celtic the Northern Irishman has repaired much of the (unfair) damage to his reputation following his sacking by Liverpool and having worked at Chelsea before, he is well aware of the backroom machinations that have seemingly troubled Conte this season.

The Spaniard won the Champions League, two La Liga titles and three Copa Del Reys during three years at the Nou Camp and, according to Sport, Chelsea believe that he could be the ideal fit to lead the west Londoners.