In the latest Chelsea news, midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko wants Antonio Conte to remain as Chelsea coach and says the Italian has never indicated that he might be leaving this summer.
Conte is about to conclude his second season in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat and, after claiming the Premier League title in his first year, it looks likely that his side will miss out on a top-four spot this time around.
The Blues sit fifth in the top-flight standings, two points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool, and will need to beat Newcastle United on Sunday and hope the Reds lose to Brighton at Anfield to secure Champions League football for next season.
Rumours persist that Conte will be off at the conclusion of the campaign, with several clubs in Europe being linked with the former Juventus tactician.
It remains to be seen if he does depart west London but Bakayoko would prefer the man who signed him to carry on in his present job.
“I don’t really pay attention to that (rumours),” he told Sky Sports News. “He’s never said that he might leave and he’s always extremely focused on winning, on doing well in the season.
“As a player, I would be disappointed. We all like working with the coach and having this relationship in the long term.”
Chelsea have finished strongly but lost nine league games while winning only 21 in what has been a dramatic downturn after last season’s glory.
Whatever happens at Wembley, the strong money is on Conte coaching elsewhere next term but Bakayoko is adamant there has been no talk of his mentor departing.
“I’ve been working with him for a year and I’ve progressed a lot under him but it’s really up to the club management, up to him and his entourage but he hasn’t said anything,” he added.