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Conte pays no attention to persistent Inter Milan link


Focused: Antonio Conte says he is concentrating on Chelsea. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA

Focused: Antonio Conte says he is concentrating on Chelsea. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA


Focused: Antonio Conte says he is concentrating on Chelsea. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA

Antonio Conte is focused on clinching the Premier League title with Chelsea rather than persistent rumours linking him with the vacancy at Inter Milan.

Chelsea go to West Brom tonight seeking the win which would secure the Premier League crown.

The Blues lead second-placed Tottenham by seven points and need one victory from their three remaining games.

Rumours of a return to Italy with Inter have refused to go away in recent months and 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 logical when you start work in a new club that the will is to continue to work, to try to improve your work in many years. For sure, this is my will.

"In this moment for me or my players, the most important thing is to be focused on the moment. Now the most important thing is to reach our target. The most important thing is to write the history of the club.

"It's important now, don't lose the concentration, be focused. My players are totally focused on the moment. We mustn't forget that we must take three points to reach this target."

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Conte's appointment on a three-year contract was announced in April 2016 and he assumed his post last July after leading Italy at Euro 2016.

The 47-year-old won three successive Serie A titles with Juventus prior to his Italy role and has rejuvenated Chelsea, champions under Jose Mourinho in 2015-16 before imploding and finishing 10th last term.

Title-winning bosses including Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester to glory last term, have lost their jobs in the following season.

Conte is not concerned and could be offered a contract extension at the end of the campaign, something which is commonplace for title-winning managers.

He suggested he wishes to be valued: "When you reach a type of level, yes, the money could be important, but it's not all.

"When you stay at this level, the money only tells you and explains to you your value."

Conte is seeking a fourth consecutive championship in domestic football, while a double could follow as Chelsea play Arsenal in the FA Cup final on May 27.

"This could be another big, big step for me," Conte said. "At the start of the season it wasn't easy. We faced problems and we had to solve a lot of problems.

"When you finish 10th in the league it means there are a lot of problems. I think we're doing a really good job, but I want this job to become great and then fantastic."

Should the Baggies avoid defeat, it is likely only to delay Chelsea's celebrations.

The Blues play mid-table Watford on Monday night and complete the campaign against relegated Sunderland on May 21.

Both games are at Stamford Bridge, but Conte prefers to secure the trophy at the earliest opportunity.

"It's not important where you win, it's important to win," he added. "Then you will have the time to celebrate the win where you want.

"We must know that to play against West Brom is not easy.

"This is a good season. We want it to become a great season. There is only one way, to take three points and to win the title."

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