Antonio Conte likely to leave after delivering parting gift to Chelsea | Dominic Fifield

Italian coach is set to depart Stamford Bridge despite winning the FA Cup, as he remains at odds with the club’s hierarchy

By the time talk turned to Antonio Conte’s future on Saturday night, the Italian’s hair was lank with champagne, silverware was acting as a shield and the mood was one of defiance. Not that Chelsea’s head coach has ever been particularly reticent when challenging his employers in public. “For sure, when you decide to take a coach like me, you must know who you are taking on, who you are charging for this job,” he said. “I cannot change my personality.”

It was always likely to end this way, with Conte’s belligerent management style and Chelsea’s pursuit of something close to self-sufficiency having placed them on a collision course from the off. His two-year tenure has yielded a Premier League title and now an FA Cup and should he depart, as is anticipated, with 12 months still to run on his contract then he leaves with his stock high. His techniques have secured trophies even if, just as at Juventus, those in authority have tired of the constant grumbling and sniping en route. They, too, were never likely to change their own tack.

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