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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Watch: Antonio Conte's 'desire is to continue to stay' at Chelsea despite exit speculation

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said he is committed to seeing out his contract with the Premier League club amid ongoing speculation regarding his job security.

Conte, 48, has come under increasing pressure this season as Chelsea's Premier League title defence was quickly left in tatters due to stuttering form and the invincibility of Manchester City. The Italian's regular complaints regarding the club's transfer activity have also not helped his cause, and the former Juventus and Italy manager is widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

It is in stark contrast to Conte's debut season last year when he transformed Chelsea into runaway league champions following their remarkable demise in 2015/16.

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Conte did sign improved terms with the Stamford Bridge club last summer, but did not extend the length of his previous contract, which is set to expire in 2019 - a move that suggested all was not well between manager and club.

However, the Italian is not expected to last that long in his current role, despite, as he claims, an intention to do so.

"From the start of the season there has been a lot of speculation, a lot of rumours about me," Conte said ahead of Chelsea's Premier League trip to Watford on Monday.

"The only thing I can tell you now is that I still have 18 months (left on my contract) with Chelsea. My will, my desire is to continue to stay here, to continue my work. This is my will and I don't see problems with this."

Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League table but could drop out of the coveted top four, at least temporarily, if fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur defeat Liverpool on Sunday.

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