Exclusive: Chelsea legend Frank Lampard on rumours Antonio Conte could leave

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has urged the Stamford Bridge club to banish the latest round of rumours suggestion Antonio Conte will quit as Blues boss unless he gets the signings he wants in this transfer window.

Fresh reports have claimed that Conte may be replaced by former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel is he walks out of Chelsea over transfer disputes with the club’s hierarchy, with Lampard suggesting the power play between the manager and his employers will not be won by the Italian tactician who guided the club to the Premier League title last May.

“There are suggestions that Conte wants more control, but that is not really how it works at Chelsea,” states BT Sport pundit Lampard, who is Chelsea’s all-time record goal scorer. “There is a big link between the manager and the people behind the scenes, but Chelsea has a structure that has been successful in the last few years and managers coming in understand that.

“Italian managers, in particular, are used to this structure. Owners of Serie A clubs have long been in charge of signing players and have told their managers just to coach the team. That is the philosophy in Italian football, so there is nothing new there for Conte.

“There is a suggestion that Chelsea managers don’t have much say in signings, but that isn’t the case from what I understand about the club and Conte certainly deserves a big say in the signings that are made there.

“The signings they have made have been positive, but some big players have left or are about to leave and he knows he needs a bigger squad. I think that is the reason for his frustration and we have seen that emotion coming out of him over the last few weeks.

“Of course Conte will have a big say on the players coming in. There will be a back and forward between the manager, his staff and the people in charge of getting the players in and you would hope that by the end of this transfer, everyone will get what they want.

“He is a very driven manager, we saw that last year and it is clear he wants to add to the squad and wanted more players in by now.”

Lampard believes Conte is the right man to take Chelsea forward, but he warns he is will not have it all his own way in a competitive Premier League.

“The second season for any manager is hard after he has enjoyed so much success,” he added. “The expectations are high, he did so well last season, but Champions League football brings a whole new dimension to Chelsea’s season and he will know that this squad needs to be strengthened.

“It has been difficult in the transfer market so far, but I think the club will give him the players he wants in the end. Chelsea have backed their manager over the last 10 or 15 years and I expect them to do the same now.

“This manager deserved to get that backing. He took a club that finished 11th in the table and with real problems to winners of the Premier League, so I’m sure he will get the support he needs from the club because he has proven himself to be a top manager.

“No one at the club will have neglected the reality that they have a top manager on their hands there and the new contract he signed confirmed the faith is there in him.

“Some people read a lot into the fact that he didn’t extend the contract and just signed an improved deal, but he signed it and maybe we should let this play out and see where we are at the end of the transfer window before passing too many judgements on Chelsea.”

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