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Coach Antonio Conte is not close to leaving Chelsea - sources

LONDON -- Antonio Conte is not close to leaving Chelsea and has not expressed frustration with their transfer strategy or management structure, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC.

On Thursday, reports in Italy and England claimed Conte was on the verge of quitting after losing patience with Chelsea's speed of movement on his transfer targets and a lack of communication with owner Roman Abramovich.

Sources close to the club, however, said Conte had relayed no such concerns to the board.

The coach is on holiday with his family, and the expectation at Stamford Bridge is that talks over a contract extension will resume when he returns.

Conte enjoyed a supportive relationship with Abramovich last season, notably in the wake of early defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal when the two spent three days at Cobham discussing how to improve the team's fortunes.

Sources at the club also said Conte has a line of contact to Marina Granovskaia, Chelsea's chief deal-maker, and an excellent relationship with technical director Michael Emenalo and head of youth development Neil Bath.

Chelsea have yet to make a signing this summer despite an interest in several players, including Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, being widely reported.

Manchester City, in contrast, have already spent the best part of £100 million to acquire playmaker Bernardo Silva from Monaco and goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica.

Last summer, Chelsea did not complete their first signing until July 3, when striker Michy Batshuayi arrived in a £33 million deal from Marseille.

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.

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