Belfast Telegraph

West Brom v Chelsea: Three points at The Hawthorns seals Premier League title for Blues

Chelsea will on Friday night seek victory at West Brom and the Premier League title.

Three points for victory at The Hawthorns would give Chelsea an unassailable 10-point lead over second-placed Tottenham.

The Blues would then seek to complete a double in Conte's first season by winning the FA Cup final with Arsenal on May 27.

Title-winning bosses are often rewarded with new contracts and Conte may be offered an improved deal, 12 months into the three-year contract he began last summer.

"If, in the future, we decide to extend the contract, we'll decide this," Conte said.

"The money is important only at this level to give the real value of a player or the coach.

"For me the most important thing now is to win. Then the future is important."

The Italian has this season out-performed Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, at Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively. Both are rumoured to receive an annual salary in the region of £15million, while Conte's is reportedly £6.5million.

Conte on Thursday declined the opportunity to dismiss rumours of a return to Italy with Inter Milan, insisting his focus is on the present. The sacking of Stefano Pioli has created a vacancy at the San Siro.

"I have two years (remaining under) contract with Chelsea," Conte said.

"It's important now, don't lose the concentration, be focused."

Conte's appointment was announced in April 2016 and he assumed his post last July after leading Italy at Euro 2016.

The 47-year-old has rejuvenated Chelsea, champions under Mourinho in 2015-16 before imploding and finishing 10th last term.

And he could seal a fourth successive domestic championship after three Serie A wins with Juventus.

"Now the most important thing is to reach our target. The most important thing is to write the history of the club," Conte added.

"I think we're doing a really good job, but I want this job to become great and then fantastic.

"We have two big opportunities this season to finish this season in the right way."

Conte was thrown into an ice bath four years ago by his players after guiding Juventus to the title and would welcome similar celebrations from Chelsea.

"I hope," he said.

"The moment of celebration must be fantastic. I'm sure my players want to celebrate in the right way. I am the same."

Should West Brom avoid defeat, it is likely only to delay Chelsea's celebrations as mid-table Watford and relegated Sunderland next visit Stamford Bridge.

Tony Pulis, who has expressed interest in signing John Terry when he leaves Chelsea this summer, hopes the Baggies can stall the champions-elect, though.

He said: "We're doing our damnedest to make it a competitive game and a good game. I don't think Antonio will expect anything different.

"We'll give it our best. We have a responsibility to our supporters. We're still chasing a points tally that will keep us in eighth position, so we have a lot to play for.

"Whether they celebrate on our pitch or back at Stamford Bridge, they deserve to be where they are for what they've done so far."

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