Antonio Conte praises potential Chelsea replacement Luis Enrique

Chelsea considering replacing Antonio Conte with caretaker boss Marco Silva

Conte gave his players time off to recharge this week in preparation for a run of three matches in nine days across three competitions, beginning on Monday night with the visit of the Premier League's bottom club, West Bromwich Albion.

But the 48-year-old remains unapologetic for his regimented approach, saying: "I think that, usually when you work, you don't smile".

Also linked to Chelsea is Carlo Ancelotti, who led the club to the Premier League title in 2009-10.

Chelsea have been in stuttering form in 2018, losing their last two league fixtures to Bournemouth and Watford, conceding seven goals in the process.

Antonio Conte's future at Stamford Bridge has become increasingly uncertain with each passing week, with the Italian at loggerheads with the Chelsea board over their recent transfer policy, apart from the fact that results on the field haven't been satisfactory enough. "I'm this type of coach".

Despite that, Conte - whose team are fifth in the table - talked up the former Barcelona coach.

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MD do claim that Chelsea remain in "pole position" as the club believe that Luis Enrique represents the best available option on the market now (both in terms of success and compatibility with the Board's ideals and aims). "I have to speak more with the managers who are very, very good at persuading their clubs to spend money to buy top players".

"He reached his targets with Barcelona, and also with Roma".

Asked if it was unusual Enrique was being so openly talked of as he successor, he added: "You must be open and understand the situation can change". A club can take different decisions. I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers, in that aspect. "I have, usually, a great respect [for fellow managers]". 'I do feel sorry for the manager, ' he said.

"At the same time, you can trust in a coach and his work and continue with him even if you don't win, and try and build something important". 'When you've got one of those at the top of the pitch they're very hard to replace'. This season, we are not working on this aspect.

Conte laughed at a suggestion that he should stop improving his players and replied: 'You are not the first person to tell me this'.

"I think we are ready".

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