Antonio Conte sets out mammoth new demand to Chelsea as Abramovich dispute turns ugly

Antonio Conte is demanding an incredible £20million from Chelsea as his dispute with the club over his dismissal in the summer threatens to turn ugly, according to reports in Italy.

The Italian – who won the Premier League and FA Cup in his two seasons at Stamford Bridge – parted ways with the west London club a whole 55 days after the end of the season, which he claims cost him another top job.

Conte was, rather strangely, still in charge for the first day of pre-season before Roman Abramovich finally pulled the trigger and negotiated a fee with Napoli for Maurizio Sarri.

Now Gazzetta dello Sport report that Conte is locked in a legal battle with Chelsea not only over the €13million (£11.3m) he is owed for the final year of his contract, but also for as much as €10m (£8.7m) in damages.

Chelsea are trying to reach a settlement, but the Italian newspaper claim Conte has missed two meetings with the club’s lawyers and wants to take the matter all the way out of principle.

For their part, Chelsea’s counter argument is that Conte cost the club money when he sent Diego Costa a text saying he should find a new club.

They also have three more rather bizarre complaints, hitting out at how often Conte was late for media duties, his occasional absences from sponsorship commitments and, incredibly, the fact that he sometimes parked his car in spaces not assigned to him at the club’s Cobham training base.

Conte was linked with replacing Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid, though is prepared to take his time to find the perfect club.

His ideal scenario would be to succeed Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, though any job will have to wait until after his dispute with Chelsea is settled and it could run deep into 2019, with Conte now seeing the saga as a matter of honour.

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