Conte not surprised by Inter speculation

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The former Juventus boss has been linked with a return to Italy ahead of next season and he says that he understands why Serie A wants him back

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says it is no surprise to hear his name being linked with the head coach position at Inter.

Speculation has mounted in Italy that the former Juventus coach is a prime target for Inter for next season, as they look to rebuild a team capable of challenging for the Serie A title using the financial power of their Chinese owners.

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Andrea Pastorello - brother of Federico, as well as an agent and Conte's friend - suggested recently that the 47-year-old could be tempted to move to San Siro after only one season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Although Conte says it is not unusual for his name to be linked with a return to Serie A, where he won five titles as a player and three as a coach with Juve, he has made it clear that his focus is on guiding Chelsea to a Premier League triumph and a return to the Champions League.

"I read this interview about Andrea Pastorello. I don't know why this person has spoken about me," Conte told a news conference on Friday.

Antonio Conte Chelsea Premier League

"I stay here, I'm very happy to stay here. I don't like it when I hear another person speaks about me.

"I have two more years of contract with Chelsea. This is the truth.

"I don't know why [I'm linked with Inter] but it's normal to try to involve my name in this situation. I was in Italy and they want me to come back to Italy. It's not easy to listen to a lot of things in this moment.

"But it's normal for me. The present is more important than the future. I prefer to be focused on the present and try to finish this season so it is a great season, not a good season.

"It's important to get three points and then to reach our target. When we started the season, to come back into the Champions League was our first target. Chelsea must play the Champions League every season.

"Then, we'll talk with the club, to try for the best solution for next season. But it's important to be focused on this season."

Conte also dismissed talk that Andrea Pirlo could join Chelsea as a coach next season, insisting that the former Juve and AC Milan star is not ready to retire from playing.

"I'm listening to a lot of things in this period," he said when asked about the rumours surrounding the New York City midfielder. 

"It's very strange because Andrea Pirlo is playing and he wants to continue to play. I don't know why someone wants to put this type of situation for me."

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