Antonio Conte: Chelsea sack speculation 'no problem for me'
Antonio Conte reiterated that he intends to see out the remainder of his Chelsea contract and says speculation the club will dismiss him at the end of this season is "no problem" as he thrives on pressure.
There remains an expectation that Conte and Chelsea will part ways this summer despite his contract at Stamford Bridge running until 2019, following months of tension with the club hierarchy over transfer policy.
Speaking after a Champions League round of 16 first leg draw with Barcelona on Tuesday, Conte said that he has no desire to cut short his time in charge of Chelsea, but admitted that the decision of whether or not he stays ultimately rests with the club.
"I've said it very clearly: I've got a contract until 2019 and I intend to respect this, but you know anything can happen in football," he told Mediaset.
"It takes two to be happy and continue a marriage. Our work is unique because we've always got our suitcase in our hands. My intention is to respect my contract, but if something were to happen, it would open up different scenarios."
Conte's achievements with Juventus and Chelsea would make him one of the most desirable coaches on the market in a summer when several big jobs could become available.
Unai Emery's contract as Paris Saint-German coach is up at the end of the season, while Zinedine Zidane's position at Real Madrid could also be in jeopardy if he fails to salvage a disappointing domestic season by winning a third consecutive Champions League trophy.
Conte has been forced to endure speculation about his future at Chelsea all season, and believes that the club's track record of sacking managers is to blame for the uncertainty.
"It's a bit the history of Chelsea and inevitable when, in the past, in 14 years, 10 coaches have been changed," he added. "Clearly when there is this habit, let's say, the press play on it and as soon as there is a result or two which don't go your way, they try to put the pressure on.
"After the defeat against Burnley [on the opening day of the season], people were already talking about change the coach, but that is because of this history. There's a lot of rumours about Chelsea in the press.
"But it's no problem for me. I hope that this pressure doesn't harm the players, not me, because I go looking for pressure."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.