Pressure is mounting on Chelsea boss Antonio Conte as the club are the club are far from pleased with the current situation around their coach.
The Blues’ title defence has been in-different, and despite Manchester City’s dominance – the club’s hierarchy have been far from pleased.
However, it is Conte’s antagonistic approach that is putting the backs up of the club’s management and I understand some sections of the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge would have few qualms about finding a replacement before the end of the season.
Since last summer Conte has openly criticised the club’s transfer policy, and even the January signings of Ross Barkley. Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri for over £50million has done little to satisfy the Italian.
Speculation surfaced in January about Chelsea’s board looking to the summer and possible replacements for Conte, and Wednesday’s disastrous 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth led to Conte being quizzed about.
“We are doing everything and I’m exploiting this squad at the maximum level. But if someone doesn’t agree about this, I have to accept the situation. I’m very relaxed about this. I know I’m doing a great job,” said the Italian.
I understand that whilst the club are still in the Champions League and FA Cup – that will be enough for the club to stick with Conte, but that is only in the short-term. He is now 6/4, with PaddyPower, to be sacked before the end of the season and is 1/10 to go before the start of next season – which is a 90% probability that he will be gone.
Conte is now the joint favourite to be the next manager to leave the Premier League – rated at 5/2 alongside Southampton’s under-pressure boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
We spoke to BetVictor’s Head of ante post Football Michael Triffitt about the next manager to go market.
“The Italian has been supported into 5/2 joint favourite from 14/1 in our next manager to go market as punters have latched onto the Blues indifferent form.
“With relations between manager and owner Roman Abramovich somewhat delicate and Conte often coming across frustrated in interviews, it would be a real surprise if he remained in charge next season and an early exit is now becoming a real possibility.”
BetVictor is also making former Barcelona chief Luis Enrique firm at 2/1 ahead of Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri at 5/1.
“Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has be well touted in the media to replace him and has been backed from an opening 8/1 into 2/1 clear market leader,” said Triffitt.