Claudio Ranieri expects Antonio Conte stay


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Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri expects his countryman Antonio Conte to remain with the Premier League champions amid speculation over his future.

Conte arrived in the English top flight for the first time ahead of the 2016-17 campaign and he proved to be an immediate success as he guided the club to a fifth Premier League crown.

Chelsea look likely to face a stern test of their credentials this season, with both Manchester City and Manchester United starting strongly after spending big money over the summer.

Reports claim that Conte was left frustrated after their rivals outspent them during the most recent transfer window while it is also understood that he is feeling homesick, having never previously played or managed outside his homeland.

The 48-year-old did put pen to paper on a new two-year deal over the summer, which is set to keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2019, and Ranieri expects him to see that contract through.

Ranieri said: “The Premier League remains the top and I’m not convinced by Conte’s homesickness.

“Maybe he was expecting a different transfer campaign, but for a few years now [Roman] Abramovich hasn’t been doing crazy spending.

“Manchester United and Manchester City have made great signings so I imagine it’s more draining for Antonio to be fighting on two fronts with the same players.”

Chelsea can be backed at 1.36 to pick up all three points when the Premier League resumes on Saturday while opponents Crystal Palace are priced at 8.50 to claim their first win of the campaign. The draw is available at 4.50.

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