Next Blues manager could decide Eden Hazard's future
Thursday 10 May 2018 14:02, UK
Antonio Conte has brought his impending exit from Chelsea upon himself, according to Stephen Warnock.
The Blues head coach looks set to depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season having seen his side's hopes of Champions League qualification fade with a draw against Huddersfield on Wednesday evening.
Despite reaching the FA Cup final, in which Chelsea will face Manchester United on May 19, it appears the relationship between manager and boardroom has become untenable.
Conte has refused to give much away when quizzed over his future, but Warnock believes the former Italy manager's lack of enthusiasm may ensure the decision is taken out of his hands.
"He's brought it upon himself with his attitude in press conferences, the way he speaks," said the former Liverpool defender.
"When he was asked about his future next season, if he wants to be there he says yes, it's as simple as that. He avoids the question, he doesn't want to answer it.
"It tells me that he wants to leave the club, he's not happy with the transfers that have been done this season, he's very disappointed at that, he's made that public."
Conte has repeatedly expressed his disappointment at the club's failure to allow him to build on his title-winning squad from last season.
One player Conte has been able to rely upon is Eden Hazard. The Belgium winger is Chelsea's leading scorer this season with 16 goals in all competitions.
However, Hazard has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona and with Chelsea likely to miss out on Champions League football next season, a move to one of the Spanish giants could become more attractive.
The identity of Chelsea's manager next season could decide whether Hazard remains at the club, according to Tony Cottee.
"If Conte leaves, who's going to become the manager?" Cottee told Sky Sports News. "That will then dictate for Hazard what his decision is."
"He's still in the prime of his career, he could sign a four or five-year deal. He's good enough to go and play for Real Madrid, Barcelona, anyone in the world he can go and play for."
"He will want to perform for Belgium at the World Cup, he'll want to know who the next Chelsea manager is, or is the current manager staying, then he'll make his decision."