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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Chelsea's Antonio Conte rejects Gianluca Vialli's claim he is keen to leave Stamford Bridge

Vialli, himself a former Chelsea manager, said earlier this week his fellow Italian and former Juventus teammate was ready to leave London club

Antonio Conte has had a difficult second season as Chelsea manager. Tony O'Brien / Reuters
Antonio Conte has had a difficult second season as Chelsea manager. Tony O'Brien / Reuters

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists his friend Gianluca Vialli was wrong to claim he "can't wait" to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

Vialli, himself a former Blues manager, spoke about Conte's future earlier this week, saying his fellow Italian and former Juventus teammate was ready to leave Chelsea.

Conte delivered the Premier League title last year in his first season in England but has suffered a demoralising campaign this time around, with the club lying eight points off a place in the top four.

Such a season has seen Conte's long-term status at Stamford Bridge come under intense scrutiny, with Vialli speaking about the situation on Sky Sport Italia.

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"Conte can't wait to leave Chelsea, he can't stand that they sell or buy players without consulting him," he said.

But, ahead of Chelsea's London derby meeting with West Ham on Sunday, Conte hit back by claiming he has not spoken to Vialli for some time.

"Don't forget that now Gianluca Vialli for many years is working for Sky, he is a journalist," he said. "He is a friend but he is a journalist and I have great respect for him but I can tell you I'm not talking [to him] since one year.

"Now I think his role brings him to say something about my situation. This is not the only person that is doing this."

"With Gianluca, we played together for many years at Juventus, he was my captain, we won the [Uefa] Champions League together and I consider him a friend. I understand because he is now a journalist and he has to give news to Sky and to try to speak about my situation."

"Those who know me very well, they know me, they know that in this moment I am very angry. I am very sad for this situation," he added. "Those who know me very well know I am trying to put all of myself to change this situation because I have great responsibility."

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