Football

Conte wants 'different experiences' after Chelsea spell

WEST HAM CHELSEA

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte wants to live "different experiences" when his time at Stamford Bridge comes to an end.

The former Juventus and Italy boss was on Friday forced to reiterate his commitment to Chelsea amid rumours of a return to his homeland with Inter Milan.

The 47-year-old, who began a three-year contract last July, has revived Chelsea this season, but is pragmatic enough to recognise that the life of a football manager is a perilous one.

Conte smiled when it was put to him that he could be at Chelsea for 10 to 15 years.

"I thank you for your optimism," he said, and then suggested when he does leave, his intention is to seek fresh pastures.

"In my mind, there is the will to find different experiences in different countries," added Conte, whose side play at West Ham tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

"I think it's fantastic to find these experiences. When I was a footballer, I played only for two teams: Lecce and Juventus.

"But, honestly, in my career, I wanted to go and play in different countries. Now I am having this great experience in England, in an amazing league.

"For me, this is great. And I hope to live this experience with my family next season."

It is the absence of wife Elisabetta and daughter Vittoria which likely ignited the rumour mill of Conte being unsettled.

He admitted it is challenging to live apart from his family, but it was always the intention for his daughter to complete the current academic year in Italy before moving to London.

"If you ask me if my family is missing me, honestly, I have to say 'yes'," added Conte, whose team have opened up a huge lead at the Premiership summit.

"It's not easy to stay alone, and live this experience with my family still in Italy."

The other challenge is that Conte went from managing Italy at Euro 2016 to immediately taking up his post at Chelsea, so there was no time for respite.

But he has wasted no time in settling in, instantly reviving the fortunes of the 2014/15 EPL champions who finished a lowly 10th last season.

"This is my first season away, in a new country, with a new language and new habits, and it's totally different from my past," he said. - PA SPORT

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