MX23RW : Friday, July 20 07:12:49

Antonio Conte returns to take Chelsea training

Conte returns to take Chelsea training
© Reuters
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte returns to the club to take charge of pre-season training amid ongoing speculation over his future at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte returned to the club to oversee their first full day of pre-season training this afternoon, despite ongoing speculation over his future.

The Italian has been widely tipped to leave Stamford Bridge this summer following a disappointing campaign which saw Chelsea finish fifth in the Premier League, although they did end the season with FA Cup glory.

Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has long been tipped as Conte's successor, but talks between the two clubs are understood to have reached an impasse as they look to agree on a compensation package.

Conte is also refusing to step down from his role in order to avoid giving up his own severance package should Chelsea sack him, with one year still remaining on his contract.

Conte and his backroom staff were at the club's Cobham training base on Saturday morning and then returned for the first full day of pre-season on Monday.

The likes of Ross Barkley, Cesc Fabregas, Marcos Alonso and David Luiz also returned to training ahead of the new season.

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The injured-suspended David Luiz is all smiles during the EFL Cup game between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest on September 20, 2017
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