The decision surrounding Antonio Conte’s future as Chelsea manager has been put on hold following the Zinedine Zidane’s departure from Real Madrid.
Despite winning the FA Cup, the Italian has come under heavy criticism from both the media and fans after he could only manage a fifth placed Premier League finish, with some fans calling for the board to sack Conte.
Some reports have even begun naming potential replacements for Conte – with the likes of Laurent Blanc and Maurizio Sarri being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
However, speculation of Chelsea potentially sacking Conte has been put on hold after Zidane stepped down from his post as Real Madrid manager. According to the Telegraph, the Blues would have to pay up to £9m to Conte to relieve him of his duties as manager and with the club reluctant to do so, there could be a way out of paying the fee.
Should Conte voluntarily leave and walk into a new job, Chelsea would be spared of paying the hefty £9m which would be an ideal situation for the club. With this development, it’s now believed Chelsea will wait to see how the situation with Real Madrid pans out and see if Conte opts out of the club on his own accord.
This scenario looked very unlikely a week ago when the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Arsene Wenger and Massimiliano Allegri were being linked with the vacancy, however now it looks to be possibility that Conte could leave Stamford Bridge and take charge of the Champions League winners.
The Italian took charge of Chelsea in 2016 and made an instant impact at the club, taking the Blues from a 10th placed finish to winning a Premier League title in his debut season.
He couldn’t repeat his heroics this season with the club failing to finish in the top four and a number of players not reaching the heights they had been tipped to reach at the start of the season.