Chelsea have rewarded manager Antonio Conte with a new contract under improved terms for the two years remaining on his deal.
The Italian coach, who penned a three-year deal on his appointment last summer, guided the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge.
“I am very happy to have signed a new contract with Chelsea. We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing, which I am very proud of. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top,” Conte said on the club’s official website.
The new contract represents new terms, but is not an extension, and comes following suggestions near the end of the season that Conte had a strained relationship with Chelsea’s front office which could lead him to move elsewhere.
In April, Conte said he missed Italy and hinted at a return, but a month later said he had no plans to move on to new challenges, even after the expiry of his deal.
“At the moment, my situation is very clear. I have two more years’ contract with the club,” he said at the time. “Then, if the club give me the possibility to stay here and to extend my contract, for sure I am available to do this. But we have the same idea about the future.
“The way we have to do things together, to improve the squad and the team. But, I repeat, I’m happy for this season and am happy to stay here. I hope to stay here for many years.”
Chelsea made Tuesday’s announcement as Conte and his squad headed out for a preseason tour to Asia, which will feature matches against FA Cup winners Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Inter.
The 47-year-old added: “The Chelsea fans have given me so much support since I arrived here one year ago and it is important we continue to succeed together.”
Under the guidance of Conte, Chelsea recovered from a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal on Sept. 24 to mount an impressive run of form which saw them produce 30 wins — as well as a club-record 13 consecutive league victories.
However, they missed out on the double when losing to the Gunners in the FA Cup final at Wembley in May.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “Antonio achieved incredible success last season, adapting to English football very quickly and leading us to the Premier League title.
“This new contract reflects our belief that he can continue to deliver results both domestically and as we return to European competition in the Champions League.”
Chelsea also confirmed additions to Conte’s backroom staff for the upcoming campaign, with compatriots Paolo Vanoli joining as assistant to the first team head coach and Davide Mazzotta working as assistant/player analysis.