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According to the Times via the Daily Star, Antonio Conte could have left Chelsea in the summer had it not been a big money clause the club inserted in his contract.
There were talks of Conte being unhappy with the club’s transfer dealings in the summer, as Chelsea missed out on majority of his top targets.
He also reportedly had dispute with the club over promoting youth players and was cut out of communication with Roman Abramovich and Marina Granovskaia, all these led to speculations that he was considering his future.
However, he stayed but the Times have raised up the story again by claiming Conte only stuck with Chelsea because of a clause in his contract.
The report says sources close to the Italian has informed them that he would have paid Chelsea a huge sum of money to terminate his contract.
The claw-back clause is a strategy Chelsea have used to prevent their managers from leaving in the past, with the same clause inserted in Jose Mourinho’s contract when he rejoined in 2013.
The clause that was inserted in Mourinho’s contract was worth £20m and Conte’s clause is believed to be around that same amount.
The newspaper further claimed Conte remains unhappy at Chelsea and could leave at the end of the season. They say the manager’s camp is already inviting bids from Serie A clubs.
It’s said that if no club is willing to buy him out of his contract next year, the manager will wait for another one year and they leave Chelsea when his contract expires.
It does seem to me that Conte will not be staying long at Chelsea, especially after the club failed to provide him with what he wanted in the summer.
It was just last week he spoke about missing Italy, something tells me he isn’t all settled at Stamford Bridge.