Gary Cahill urges Chelsea to end uncertainty over Antonio Conte

Gary Cahill has urged the Chelsea hierarchy to put an end to the uncertainty surrounding the future of Italian manager Antonio Conte, adding that the lack of clarity is being felt in the dressing room.

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill raises the FA Cup following their victory over Manchester United in Saturdays final. Picture: Getty.
Chelsea captain Gary Cahill raises the FA Cup following their victory over Manchester United in Saturdays final. Picture: Getty.

Conte described himself as a “serial winner” after securing an eighth FA Cup title for the Blues – his second major trophy in as many years in west London – and he challenged his employers to back him after a season mired in transfer complaints and unrest.

It is widely expected that the former Juventus coach will leave Stamford Bridge despite Saturday’s success, with Luis Enrique thought to be among the frontrunners to replace him. Club captain Cahill, however, would like to see matters resolved quickly.

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“Certainly I feel a sense of uncertainty. I think that’s obvious to everybody in the last few months,” he said. “Players have no impact on that situation. I’m sure if I was a guessing man they will have spoken – between the club and the manager. Let’s see.

“I’m sure the manager will make the best decision for himself and his family and I’m sure the club will make the club what they feel.”

When asked about what the club needs to do to progress this summer, Cahill added: “We probably need the uncertainty to be put to bed and whatever is going to happen to happen.

“Today is about celebrating the FA Cup. It’s out of our hands.

“We have to deliver on the pitch, we’ve fallen short in some aspects this season but today we produced and the rest behind the scenes is not down to us so we wait and see.”

A first-half penalty by Eden Hazard proved to be the difference at Wembley as Chelsea rekindled some of the spirit that powered them to last season’s title to see off Manchester United.

The FA Cup adds gloss to an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Blues, one that has culminated in a fifth-place finish in the league, meaning they will miss out on Champions League football next season.

Cahill acknowledged the team had to deliver in the cup final following their sub-standard showing in the league.

“I felt the pressure before the game,” he said. “We had to win this game. I felt like we really had to win this game to try to save the season.

“When I say that I don’t mean to save it and then all of sudden it [the season] is a massive success.

“At the same time it’s an FA Cup, and we’ve won a trophy this season, which a number of teams haven’t and it’s very difficult to do.”

Thibaut Courtois, pictured, may not know where his or manager Antonio Conte’s future lies, but the goalkeeper is sure that Chelsea need to spend big to compete in the Premier League next season.

Courtois is not sure where the Italian’s future lies – “whatever he or the club decides, they will know what they do,” the goalkeeper said – nor does he know where he will spend the 2018-19 campaign.

“I think we’ll see after the World Cup whether I am a Chelsea player for next year,” the Belgium 
international said.

Courtois has been heavily linked with Real Madrid and it appears Chelsea need to win over their goalkeeper.

With his contract soon running out, the 26-year-old believes the Blues have to dig deep to have any chance of a title challenge next term.

Asked if Chelsea need a big summer to add players in order to challenge for the title, Courtois said: “Yeah, I think so. I think especially if you see how City and United are spending and working.

“I think if we want to aim for the top, we should do the same – obviously within the limits of what’s possible as well.

“I think that the transfer market has gone pretty crazy. Nowadays you pay £80 million for a defender I think – that’s crazy figures.

“We’ll see what’s going on and I am sure the board will do what needs to be done.”